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===Solving equations and systems of equations===
Another fundamental problem is computing the solution of some given equation. Two cases are commonly distinguished, depending on whether the equation is linear or not. For instance, the equation <math>2x+5=3</math> is linear while <math>2x^2+5=3</math> is not.
Much effort has been put in the development of methods for solving [[ systems of linear equations]]. Standard direct methods, i.e., methods that use some [[matrix decomposition]] are [[Gaussian elimination]], [[LU decomposition]], [[Cholesky decomposition]] for [[symmetric matrix|symmetric]] (or [[hermitian matrix|hermitian]]) and [[positive-definite matrix]], and [[QR decomposition]] for non-square matrices. [[Iterative method]]s such as the [[Jacobi method]], [[Gauss–Seidel method]], [[successive over-relaxation]] and [[conjugate gradient method]] are usually preferred for large systems. General iterative methods can be developed using a [[matrix splitting]].
[[Root-finding algorithm]]s are used to solve nonlinear equations (they are so named since a root of a function is an argument for which the function yields zero). If the function is [[derivative|differentiable]] and the derivative is known, then [[Newton's method]] is a popular choice. [[Linearization]] is another technique for solving nonlinear equations.