Episode 1 of Geometry

Explore the origins of one of the oldest branches of mathematics. See how geometry not only deals with practical concerns such as mapping, navigation, architecture, and engineering, but also offers an intellectual journey in its own right--inviting big, deep questions.

Running Time

34 mins

Year

2014

Kanopy ID

1338389

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The Mathematics of Symmetry

Human aesthetics seem to be drawn to symmetry. Explore this idea mathematically through the study of mappings, translations, dilations, and rotations--and see how symmetry is applied in modern-day examples such as cell phones.

Bending the Axioms—New Geometries

Wrap up the course by looking at several fun and different ways of reimagining geometry. Explore the counterintuitive behaviors of shapes, angles, and lines in spherical geometry, hyperbolic geometry, finite geometry, and even taxi-cab geometry. See how the world of geometry is never a closed-book experience.

Complex Numbers in Geometry

In lecture 6, you saw how 17th-century mathematician Rene Descartes united geometry and algebra with the invention of the coordinate plane. Now go a step further and explore the power and surprises that come from using the complex number plane. Examine how using complex numbers can help solve several tricky…

The Geometry of Braids—Curious Applications

Wander through the crazy, counterintuitive world of rotations. Use a teacup and string to explore how the mathematics of geometry can describe an interesting result in quantum mechanics.

Playing with Geometric Probability

Unite geometry with the world of probability theory. See how connecting these seemingly unrelated fields offers new ways of solving questions of probability--including figuring out the likelihood of having a short wait for the bus at the bus stop.

Proofs and Proof Writing

The beauty of geometry is that each result logically builds on the others. Mathematicians demonstrate this chain of deduction using proofs. Learn this step-by-step process of logic and see how to construct your own proofs.

Circle-ometry—On Circular Motion

How can you figure out the "height" of the sun in the sky without being able to measure it directly with a ruler? Follow the path of ancient Indian scholars to answer this question using "angle of elevation" and a branch of geometry called trigonometry. You learn the basic trig…

The Pythagorean Theorem

We commonly define the Pythagorean theorem using the formula a2 + b2 = c2. But Pythagoras himself would have been confused by that. Explore how this famous theorem can be explained using common geometric shapes (no fancy algebra required), and how it's a critical foundation for the rest of geometry.

Angles and Pencil-Turning Mysteries

Using nothing more than an ordinary pencil, see how three angles in a triangle can add up to 180 degrees. Then compare how the experience of turning a pencil on a flat triangle differs from walking in a triangular shape on the surface of a sphere. With this exercise, Professor…

Introduction to Scale

If you double the side-lengths of a shape, what happens to its area? If the shape is three-dimensional, what happens to its volume? In this lecture, you explore the concept of scale. You use this idea to re-derive one of our fundamental assumptions of geometry, the Pythagorean theorem, using the…

Understanding Area

What do we mean when we say "area"? Explore how its definition isn't quite so straightforward. Then, work out the formula for the area of a triangle and see how to use that formula to derive the area of any other polygon.

The Geometry of a Circle

Explore the world of circles! Learn the definition of a circle as well as what mathematicians mean when they say things like radius, chord, diameter, secant, tangent, and arc. See how these interact, and use that knowledge to prove the inscribed angle theorem and Thales' theorem.

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