# What is the use of matrices in the real world?

I am very tired of questions of the type “what is it (use/usefulness/occurrences) of (topic in which I am not interested and where I also do not want to make any effort) in the real world”.

< rant > Why do you ask that question?If this is a topic that you will be dealt with in Havo/VWO/HBO/university, you can ask the teacher better. On Quiora? It shows how many areas you lack knowledge about. The question is similar to “what is the use of the number 17 in the real world?” </rant >

Well, a matrix is the representation of a linear image (tans formation/function).Because all the images (functions) can be approached locally by a linear function, these are very common in physics, chemistry, engineering sciences such as mechanical engineering, civil engineering, Aerospace, Electro-technology and also in economics and financial sciences. I remember a few more.

Learning to deal with matrices is a preparation for these applications, just as laps run to the football field you prepare for the matches.

Go gaming again.That’s what you really do in the real world.

A lot, almost all modern science and technology relies on matrices somewhere; Computer graphics, video games, architecture, AI, +/-all physics, aerospace, aviation, statistics..

The reason why matrices are so useful and powerful is quite abstract, that explanation may not make much sense.Therefore perhaps better a few practical examples:

You can use an array to mathematically display any combination of pivoting, shifting, and scaling, and quickly applying to many things.That alone makes matrices useful in computer graphics, 2D or 3D. Rotating an image in Photoshop supports that behind the scenes on a rotation matrix.

Engineers often use matrices to see how a building can deform under stress, by gravity, wind, snow etc.If you want to know if a bridge is safe then you typically use a lot of matrix math, even more so when it comes to computer simulations.

In the metric, arrays are used for data with many dimensions.Take for example that you follow up on a drug that is influenced by age, weight, size etc. Such a relationship typically also describe you with a matrix.

Matrix calculations are widely used for graphical applications on the computer (such as 3D games, for example, using an API such as DirectX or OpenGL, or when processing vector instructions (via SSE, AltiVec, MMX, etc…).

For 3D games it may be logical.Every point in a scene has a position, an X-, y-and z-coordinate and these coordinates are represented as a matrix [x, Y, Z. And you can release the same matrix calculation at any point to move the whole scene, for example. Or you can do matrix calculations to enlarge or reduce an object in a scene. And for the GPU, this type of matrix calculations can be performed quickly because many calculations may be done in parallel. More explanation here: