# [Numpy-discussion] Changing a matrix element into a scalar

Christopher Barker Chris.Barker@noaa....
Tue Aug 3 14:10:46 CDT 2010

```Joshua Holbrook wrote:
> I don't think I've ever actually seen someone use the matrix datatype
> instead of the array datatype.
>
> Hopefully nobody minds me asking the noob question: What's the
> advantage of the matrix datatype?

The advantage of the matrix datatype is that it is a matrix in the
linear algebra sense. i.e.

A*B is matrix multiplication.

As a matrix is, by definition, a 2-d array, matrix operations return 2-d
arrays -- hence the OP's issue.

I think many of us find n-d arrays far more powerful and useful, and the
extra overhead of code for the handful of linear algebra operations in a
given piece of code is well worth it.

For those that really want a natural way to express linear algebra, the
matrix class really needs some more work to do the job well. (see wiki
and discussion on this list). However, no one has stepped up to do the
hard work of making any of those suggestions a reality, so it's not been
done.

-Chris

> --Josh
>
> On Tue, Aug 3, 2010 at 8:59 AM, Wayne Watson
> <sierra_mtnview@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>> Thank you. That's  almost amusing. Too logical for Python. I fully
>> expected something like m{0}[0](0)[0:0]. :-)
>>
>> I don't think the tentative Numpy tutorial mentions it.
>>
>> On 8/3/2010 9:28 AM, PHobson@Geosyntec.com wrote:
>>> Wayne,
>>>
>>> Matrices are two dimensional arrays so you need two indices to access an individual element:
>>>
>>> In [1]: from numpy import matrix
>>>
>>> In [2]: m = matrix([[1.2],[2.3]])
>>>
>>> In [3]: m[0,0]
>>> Out[3]: 1.2
>>>
>>> -paul
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: numpy-discussion-bounces@scipy.org [mailto:numpy-discussion-bounces@scipy.org] On Behalf Of Wayne Watson
>>> Sent: Tuesday, August 03, 2010 9:24 AM
>>> To: Discussion of Numerical Python
>>> Subject: [Numpy-discussion] Changing a matrix element into a scalar
>>>
>>> How do I access 1.2 in such a way as to end up with a float? I keep
>>> getting a matrix.
>>> from numpy import matrix
>>> m = matrix([[1.2],[2.3]])
>>>
>>>
>> --
>>            Wayne Watson (Watson Adventures, Prop., Nevada City, CA)
>>
>>              (121.015 Deg. W, 39.262 Deg. N) GMT-8 hr std. time)
>>               Obz Site:  39° 15' 7" N, 121° 2' 32" W, 2700 feet
>>
>>              "Republicans are always complaining that government is
>>               out of control. If they get into power, they will
>>               prove it." -- R. J. Rourke
>>
>>
>>                     Web Page:<www.speckledwithstars.net/>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> NumPy-Discussion mailing list
>> NumPy-Discussion@scipy.org
>> http://mail.scipy.org/mailman/listinfo/numpy-discussion
>>
> _______________________________________________
> NumPy-Discussion mailing list
> NumPy-Discussion@scipy.org
> http://mail.scipy.org/mailman/listinfo/numpy-discussion

--
Christopher Barker, Ph.D.
Oceanographer

Emergency Response Division
NOAA/NOS/OR&R            (206) 526-6959   voice
7600 Sand Point Way NE   (206) 526-6329   fax
Seattle, WA  98115       (206) 526-6317   main reception

Chris.Barker@noaa.gov
```

More information about the NumPy-Discussion mailing list