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Purdue University Linear Algebra Exam Problems and Solutions


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  • Simple Commutative Relation on MatricesSimple Commutative Relation on Matrices Let $A$ and $B$ are $n \times n$ matrices with real entries. Assume that $A+B$ is invertible. Then show that \[A(A+B)^{-1}B=B(A+B)^{-1}A.\] (University of California, Berkeley Qualifying Exam) Proof. Let $P=A+B$. Then $B=P-A$. Using these, we express the given […]
  • Non-Example of a Subspace in 3-dimensional Vector Space $\R^3$Non-Example of a Subspace in 3-dimensional Vector Space $\R^3$ Let $S$ be the following subset of the 3-dimensional vector space $\R^3$. \[S=\left\{ \mathbf{x}\in \R^3 \quad \middle| \quad \mathbf{x}=\begin{bmatrix} x_1 \\ x_2 \\ x_3 \end{bmatrix}, x_1, x_2, x_3 \in \Z \right\}, \] where $\Z$ is the set of all integers. […]
  • Example of an Element in the Product of Ideals that Cannot be Written as the Product of Two ElementsExample of an Element in the Product of Ideals that Cannot be Written as the Product of Two Elements Let $I=(x, 2)$ and $J=(x, 3)$ be ideal in the ring $\Z[x]$. (a) Prove that $IJ=(x, 6)$. (b) Prove that the element $x\in IJ$ cannot be written as $x=f(x)g(x)$, where $f(x)\in I$ and $g(x)\in J$.   Hint. If $I=(a_1,\dots, a_m)$ and $J=(b_1, \dots, b_n)$ are […]
  • Are Groups of Order 100, 200 Simple?Are Groups of Order 100, 200 Simple? Determine whether a group $G$ of the following order is simple or not. (a) $|G|=100$. (b) $|G|=200$.   Hint. Use Sylow's theorem and determine the number of $5$-Sylow subgroup of the group $G$. Check out the post Sylow’s Theorem (summary) for a review of Sylow's […]
  • Eigenvalues and their Algebraic Multiplicities of a Matrix with a VariableEigenvalues and their Algebraic Multiplicities of a Matrix with a Variable Determine all eigenvalues and their algebraic multiplicities of the matrix \[A=\begin{bmatrix} 1 & a & 1 \\ a &1 &a \\ 1 & a & 1 \end{bmatrix},\] where $a$ is a real number.   Proof. To find eigenvalues we first compute the characteristic polynomial of the […]
  • Dihedral Group and Rotation of the PlaneDihedral Group and Rotation of the Plane Let $n$ be a positive integer. Let $D_{2n}$ be the dihedral group of order $2n$. Using the generators and the relations, the dihedral group $D_{2n}$ is given by \[D_{2n}=\langle r,s \mid r^n=s^2=1, sr=r^{-1}s\rangle.\] Put $\theta=2 \pi/n$. (a) Prove that the matrix […]
  • Common Eigenvector of Two Matrices and Determinant of CommutatorCommon Eigenvector of Two Matrices and Determinant of Commutator Let $A$ and $B$ be $n\times n$ matrices. Suppose that these matrices have a common eigenvector $\mathbf{x}$. Show that $\det(AB-BA)=0$. Steps. Write down eigenequations of $A$ and $B$ with the eigenvector $\mathbf{x}$. Show that AB-BA is singular. A matrix is […]
  • Is the Trace of the Transposed Matrix the Same as the Trace of the Matrix?Is the Trace of the Transposed Matrix the Same as the Trace of the Matrix? Let $A$ be an $n \times n$ matrix. Is it true that $\tr ( A^\trans ) = \tr(A)$? If it is true, prove it. If not, give a counterexample.   Solution. The answer is true. Recall that the transpose of a matrix is the sum of its diagonal entries. Also, note that the […]

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