The focus of this thesis is on developing efficient algorithms for two important problems arising in model reduction, estimation of the smallest eigenvalue for a parameter-dependent Hermitian matrix and solving large-scale linear matrix equations, by extracting and exploiting underlying low-rank properties. Availability of reliable and efficient algorithms for estimating the smallest eigenvalue of a parameter-dependent Hermitian matrix $A(\mu)$ for many parameter values $\mu$ is important in a variety of applications. Most notably, it plays a crucial role in \textit{a posteriori} estimation of reduced basis methods for parametrized partial differential equations. We propose a novel subspace approach, which builds upon the current state-of-the-art approach, the Successive Constraint Method (SCM), and improves it by additionally incorporating the sampled smallest eigenvectors and implicitly exploiting their smoothness properties. Like SCM, our approach also provides rigorous lower and upper bounds for the smallest eigenvalues on the parameter domain $D$. We present theoretical and experimental evidence to demonstrate that our approach represents a significant improvement over SCM in the sense that the bounds are often much tighter, at a negligible additional cost. We have successfully applied the approach to computation of the coercivity and the inf-sup constants, as well as computation of $\varepsilon$-pseudospectra. Solving an $m\times n$ linear matrix equation $A_1 X B_1^T + \cdots + A_K X B_K^T = C$ as an $m n \times m n$ linear system, typically limits the feasible values of $m,n$ to a few hundreds at most. We propose a new approach, which exploits the fact that the solution $X$ can often be well approximated by a low-rank matrix, and computes it by combining greedy low-rank techniques with Galerkin projection as well as preconditioned gradients. This can be implemented in a way where only linear systems of size $m \times m$ and $n \times n$ need to be solved. Moreover, these linear systems inherit the sparsity of the coefficient matrices, which allows to address linear matrix equations as large as $m = n = O(10^5)$. Numerical experiments demonstrate that the proposed methods perform well for generalized Lyapunov equations, as well as for the standard Lyapunov equations. Finally, we combine the ideas used for addressing matrix equations and parameter-dependent eigenvalue problems, and propose a low-rank reduced basis approach for solving parameter-dependent Lyapunov equations.