Monday, March 23, 2009

vector addition

A vector is an arrow. What is important about a vector is
  • its length, and
  • its direction.
The starting point of a vector is not important. You can slide an arrow around, and if you don't stretch it or turn it, it's the same vector. (Note, I'm not representing vectors as coordinate pairs, but as graphical things that I draw on the white board. They are arrows.) The rule for adding two vectors, X and Y is to slide Y until Y's starting point is on top of X's ending point. Now draw an arrow from the beginning of X to the end of Y. That's the result of adding X to Y.

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About Me

I'm research faculty at MIT, and Chief Architect at Tokutek.