**Generalizations and Related Topics**

Since linear algebra is a successful theory, its methods have been developed and generalized in other parts of mathematics. In module theory, one replaces the field of scalars by a ring. The concepts of linear independence, span, basis, and dimension (which is called rank in module theory) still make sense. Nevertheless, many theorems from linear algebra become false in module theory. For instance, not all modules have a basis (those that do are called free modules), the rank of a free module is not necessarily unique, not all linearly independent subsets of a module can be extended to form a basis, and not all subsets of a module that span the space contains a basis.

In multilinear algebra, one considers multivariable linear transformations, that is, mappings that are linear in each of a number of different variables. This line of inquiry naturally leads to the idea of the dual space, the vector space *V** consisting of linear maps *f*: *V* → **F** where **F** is the field of scalars. Multilinear maps *T*: *Vn* → **F** can be described via tensor products of elements of *V**.

If, in addition to vector addition and scalar multiplication, there is a bilinear vector product, then the vector space is called an algebra; for instance, associative algebras are algebras with an associate vector product (like the algebra of square matrices, or the algebra of polynomials).

Functional analysis mixes the methods of linear algebra with those of mathematical analysis and studies various function spaces, such as Lp spaces.

Representation theory studies the actions of algebraic objects on vector spaces by representing these objects as matrices. It is interested in all the ways that this is possible, and it does so by finding subspaces invariant under all transformations of the algebra. The concept of eigenvalues and eigenvectors is especially important.

Read more about this topic: Linear Algebra

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**Generalizations and Related Topics**

... In multilinear algebra, one considers multivariable linear transformations, that is, mappings that are linear in each of a number of different variables ... This line of inquiry naturally leads to the idea of the dual space, the vector space V* consisting of linear maps f V → F where F is the field of scalars ...

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