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Chapter 13

Streamlining Systems, Managing Variables

In This Chapter

Taking down two-equation systems with substitution and elimination

Breaking down systems with more than two equations

Graphing systems of inequalities

Forming and operating on matrices

Putting matrices into simpler forms to solve systems of equations

When you have one variable and one equation, you can almost always solve the equation. Finding a solution may take you some time, but it is usually possible. When a problem has two variables, however, you need at least two equations to solve; this set of equations is called a system. When you have three variables, you need at least three equations in the system. Basically, for every variable present, you need a separate unique equation if you want to solve for it.

For an equation with three variables, an infinite number of values for two variables would work for that particular equation. Why? Because you can pick any two numbers to plug in for two of the variables in ...

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