Hi fellows,

Please excuse my ignorance as I am very new to this specialization. Can someone tell me the difference between a **Matrix, Vector and a List**. I ask because I see lots of transformation between vectors and matrices. My confusion arises because mathematically a Vector has magnitude and direction while a Matrix can have multiple rows/columns. However; in python, we define a Vector as a 1-D array while a Matrix is a 2-D array. Finally we also have a list which is just a plain list and can have values of different data types. Please can someone clarify. Thanks.

Hi humanbot,

The main differences between a Matrix, Vector, and List in Python are related to their structure, dimensionality, and typical use cases. Let me explain each one concisely:

- List:

- A basic, one-dimensional data structure in Python
- Can contain elements of different data types
- Mutable and dynamic in size
- Represented using square brackets, e.g., [1, 2, 3, ‘a’, ‘b’]

- Vector:

- Typically represented as a one-dimensional array of numbers
- Usually implemented using libraries like NumPy (as numpy.array)
- Used for mathematical operations in linear algebra
- All elements are generally of the same data type (usually numeric)

- Matrix:

- A two-dimensional array of numbers
- Typically implemented using NumPy (as numpy.array) or as a list of lists
- Used for mathematical operations in linear algebra
- All elements are generally of the same data type (usually numeric)
- Can be thought of as a collection of vectors

The main distinctions lie in their dimensionality and typical use cases in mathematical computations.

Hope this helps you to understand them better.

Best,

Rosa

1 Like

Thank you for the clear explanation. That helps !