Addresses in system programming languages like C are one dimensional (i.e. one number). This forces the programmer to make a decision whether matrices are stored "row major" or "column major" causing the opposite access to be slower.
This is somewhat surprising, since I think I remember that physical RAM is actually a 2 dimensional structure. And looking at the free part of this article. It seems like there exists a burst mode for accessing multiple elements from the same row.
Why does this burst mode not exist for columns, and why do programming languages not allow for true two dimensional storage of data? This would allow for "row major"/"column major" agnostic designs, which would probably speed up a lot of linear algebra libraries. Which would then trickle down to statistics and machine learning.