Understanding multiple interpretations of the notion of solution in linear algebra. In Proceedings of the Southern Hemisphere Conference on Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics Teaching and Learning
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Engineering and Mathematics
The first concepts in most linear algebra courses that university students encounter focus on the fundamental subspaces of a matrix and the relationships between them. In this paper we report on the results of a questionnaire designed to assess students' ability make links between these concepts. The questionnaire was given to three groups of students from three institutions, all of whom have completed a first year course in linear algebra. Most of the students were not able to link the different equivalent formulations of the same underlying concept, but there is some evidence that suggests that the ability to do so improves somewhat by the time they are in their second course.