Suppose that the following matrix $A$ is the augmented matrix for a system of linear equations.
\[A= \left[\begin{array}{rrr|r}
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 \\
2 &-1 & -2 & a^2 \\
-1 & -7 & -11 & a
\end{array} \right],\]
where $a$ is a real number. Determine all the values of $a$ so that the corresponding system is consistent.

For what value(s) of $a$ does the system have nontrivial solutions?
\begin{align*}
&x_1+2x_2+x_3=0\\
&-x_1-x_2+x_3=0\\
& 3x_1+4x_2+ax_3=0.
\end{align*}

Determine whether the following systems of equations (or matrix equations) described below has no solution, one unique solution or infinitely many solutions and justify your answer.

(a) \[\left\{
\begin{array}{c}
ax+by=c \\
dx+ey=f,
\end{array}
\right.
\]
where $a,b,c, d$ are scalars satisfying $a/d=b/e=c/f$.

(b) $A \mathbf{x}=\mathbf{0}$, where $A$ is a singular matrix.

(c) A homogeneous system of $3$ equations in $4$ unknowns.

(d) $A\mathbf{x}=\mathbf{b}$, where the row-reduced echelon form of the augmented matrix $[A|\mathbf{b}]$ looks as follows:
\[\begin{bmatrix}
1 & 0 & -1 & 0 \\
0 &1 & 2 & 0 \\
0 & 0 & 0 & 1
\end{bmatrix}.\]
(The Ohio State University, Linear Algebra Exam) Read solution