ARTHUR CAYLEY (1821–1895) was an English mathematician who was instrumental in developing the theory of matrices. He was the first to use a single symbol such as A to represent a matrix, thereby introducing the idea that a matrix is a single entity rather than just a collection of numbers. Cayley practiced law until the age of 42, but his primary interest from adolescence was mathematics, and he published almost 200 articles on the subject in his spare time. In 1863 he accepted a professorship in mathematics at Cambridge, where he taught until his death. Cayley’s work on matrices was of purely theoretical interest in his day, but in the 20th century many of his results found application in physics, the social sciences, business, and other fields. One of the most common uses of matrices today is in computers, where matrices are employed for data storage, error correction, image manipulation, and many other purposes. These applications have made matrix algebra more useful than ever.
Senior Lecturer (Mathematics)
Department of Natural Sciences,
Daffodil International University,
Faculty of Science and Information Technology.