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Math Help - row echelon form- determine a value

  1. #1
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    row echelon form- determine a value

    Hi,
    Given the matrix
    A= 1 1 0 1 4
    2 0 0 4 7
    1 1 1 0 5
    1 -3 -1 -10 a
    determine the value of a such that, in a row-echelon form of A, the stairstep reaches the bottom.
    #The answer is a=1 but I have no idea why is it so???...Thanks in advance for any help you are able to provide...
    Last edited by jojo7777777; August 30th 2012 at 10:29 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: row echelon form- determine a value

    Are you sure you have read the problem correctly? This matrix has 5 columns but only four rows. The "stair step will reach the bottom" (by which I guess you mean there are no "0" rows) no matter what a is.
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  3. #3
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    Re: row echelon form- determine a value

    Yes, I have read the problem correctly, that is how it appears in the book...
    Last edited by jojo7777777; August 30th 2012 at 12:49 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Re: row echelon form- determine a value

    Any help? someone...
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