Statistics Dictionary

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A matrix is a rectangular array of numbers arranged in rows and columns. The array of numbers below is an example of a matrix.

21 62 33 93
44 95 66 13
77 38 79 33

The number of rows and columns that a matrix has is called its dimension or its order. By convention, rows are listed first; and columns, second. Thus, we would say that the dimension (or order) of the above matrix is 3 x 4, meaning that it has 3 rows and 4 columns.

Numbers that appear in the rows and columns of a matrix are called elements of the matrix. In the above matrix, the element in the first column of the first row is 21; the element in the second column of the first row is 62; and so on.

See also:  Introduction to Matrices