random matrices
To construct a random m by n matrix with entries in a ring R use the function
random by typing
random(R^m,R^n).
i1 : R = GF(3^2,Variable => a);

i2 : random(R^3,R^4)
o2 =  a+1 0 1 a1 
 a1 a1 1 0 
 a1 0 a1 a1 
3 4
o2 : Matrix R < R

Over a polynomial ring, this will select elements in the base ring or field. To obtain a matrix of (say) linear polynomials, use
i3 : T = R[x,y];

i4 : random(T^3,T^{4:1})
o4 =  (a+1)x+(a+1)y (a+1)x+(a1)y ax+y ax+y 
 x+(a1)y 0 x+(a+1)y axay 
 x+(a1)y axay (a1)xy x+(a1)y 
3 4
o4 : Matrix T < T

matrices of variables
To build an m by n matrix of variables drawn from the ring R, use
genericMatrix. The syntax is
genericMatrix(R,x,m,n) where R is the ring, x is the variable where we start and m and n specify the size of the matrix.
i5 : S = R[p..z];

i6 : genericMatrix(S,t,3,2)
o6 =  t w 
 u x 
 v y 
3 2
o6 : Matrix S < S

Note that to use the function genericMatrix the number of variables in the ring R must be at least as large as
m*n.
genericSymmetricMatrix
To construct an n by n symmetric matrix whose entries on and above the diagonal are the variables of R use
genericSymmetricMatrix. The syntax is
genericSymmetricMatrix(R,x,n) where R is the ring, x is the variable you want to start with and n is the size of the matrix.
i7 : genericSymmetricMatrix(S,s,3)
o7 =  s t u 
 t v w 
 u w x 
3 3
o7 : Matrix S < S

genericSkewMatrix
To construct an n by n skew symmetric matrix whose entries above the diagonal are the variables of R use
genericSkewMatrix. The syntax is
genericSkewMatrix(R,x,n) where R is the ring, x is the variable you want to start with and n is the size of the matrix.
i8 : genericSkewMatrix(S,u,3)
o8 =  0 u v 
 u 0 w 
 v w 0 
3 3
o8 : Matrix S < S
