ERIC Number: EJ1171761
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
Teaching Determinants Using Rook Arrangements
Hendrickson, Anders O. F.
PRIMUS, v28 n2 p153-165 2018
Teaching determinants poses significant challenges to the instructor of a proof-based undergraduate linear algebra course. The standard definition by cofactor expansion is ugly, lacks symmetry, and is hard for students to use in proofs. We introduce a visual definition of the determinant that interprets permutations as arrangements of non-attacking rooks on an "n × n" chessboard. We show that under this definition, many of the usual lemmas about determinants admit natural, insightful proofs that students themselves can readily discover.
Descriptors: Mathematical Concepts, Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Algebra, Mathematical Logic, Validity, Games, Visual Aids, Undergraduate Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A