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Our next goal is to find a better understanding of the determinant of a square matrix. We have seen this come up before as a measurement that allows us to “determine” if a square matrix is invertible. But it has some more information in it than that, and it has some interesting properties.

Our first section will take up the interesting properties, with special attention to those properies which make the determinant easier to compute. Then we will look at a few alternate methods of computation.