Synopses & Reviews
Geometric constructions have been a popular part of mathematics throughout history. The first chapter here is informal and starts from scratch, introducing all the geometric constructions from high school that have been forgotten or were never learned. The second chapter formalises Plato's game, and examines problems from antiquity such as the impossibility of trisecting an arbitrary angle. After that, variations on Plato's theme are explored: using only a ruler, a compass, toothpicks, a ruler and dividers, a marked rule, or a tomahawk, ending in a chapter on geometric constructions by paperfolding. The author writes in a charming style and nicely intersperses history and philosophy within the mathematics, teaching a little geometry and a little algebra along the way. This is as much an algebra book as it is a geometry book, yet since all the algebra and geometry needed is developed within the text, very little mathematical background is required. This text has been class tested for several semesters with a master's level class for secondary teachers.
Review
This book gives a nice and comprehensive introduction into geometric constructions in the classical sense, i.e., into constructions with ruler and compass and all the well-known variations of them. This book can be recommended to all people being interested in that popular part of mathematics! The author combines purely mathematical, historical and philosophical arguments and viewpoints in a skillful manner. The book conveys joy in the subject ZENTRALBLATT MATH
Review
The presentation is engaging. An unusual and very welcome feature is the rich historical background, spanning more than two millenia MATHEMATICAL REVIEWS
Synopsis
Geometric constructions have been a popular part of mathematics throughout history. The ancient Greeks made the subject an art, which was enriched by the medieval Arabs but which required the algebra of the Renaissance for a thorough understanding. Through coordinate geometry, various geometric construction tools can be associated with various fields of real numbers. This book is about these associations. As specified by Plato, the game is played with a ruler and compass. The first chapter is informal and starts from scratch, introducing all the geometric constructions from high school that have been forgotten or were never seen. The second chapter formalizes Plato's game and examines problems from antiquity such as the impossibility of trisecting an arbitrary angle. After that, variations on Plato's theme are explored: using only a ruler, using only a compass, using toothpicks, using a ruler and dividers, using a marked rule, using a tomahawk, and ending with a chapter on geometric constructions by paperfolding. The author writes in a charming style and nicely intersperses history and philosophy within the mathematics. He hopes that readers will learn a little geometry and a little algebra while enjoying the effort. This is as much an algebra book as it is a geometry book. Since all the algebra and all the geometry that are needed is developed within the text, very little mathematical background is required to read this book. This text has been class tested for several semesters with a master's level class for secondary teachers.
Synopsis
Geometric constructions have been a popular part of mathematics throughout history. The first chapter here is informal and starts from scratch, introducing all the geometric constructions from high school that have been forgotten or were never learned. The second chapter formalises Plato's game, and examines problems from antiquity such as the impossibility of trisecting an arbitrary angle. After that, variations on Plato's theme are explored: using only a ruler, a compass, toothpicks, a ruler and dividers, a marked rule, or a tomahawk, ending in a chapter on geometric constructions by paperfolding. The author writes in a charming style and nicely intersperses history and philosophy within the mathematics, teaching a little geometry and a little algebra along the way. This is as much an algebra book as it is a geometry book, yet since all the algebra and geometry needed is developed within the text, very little mathematical background is required. This text has been class tested for several semesters with a master's level class for secondary teachers.
Synopsis
Written in an informal style that intersperses history and philosophy with mathematics, this class-tested, self-contained book demonstrates how some simple construction tools can be associated with various fields of real numbers through coordinate geometry.
Description
Includes bibliographical references (p. [189]-197) and index.
Table of Contents
Euclidean Constructions.- The Ruler and Compass.- The Compass and the Mohr-Mascheroni Theorem.- The Ruler.- The Ruler and Dividers.- The Poncelet-Steiner Theorem and Double Rulers.- The Ruler and Rusty Compass.- Sticks.- The Marked Ruler.- Paperfolding - The Back of the Book.