
Re: geometry
Posted:
Sep 6, 2004 1:54 PM


On 6 Sep 04 09:52:09 0400 (EDT), Yogi wrote: >On 29 Aug 04 13:26:55 0400 (EDT), desiree wrote: >>does anyone out there know the 1 mathematician that's responsible for >>organizing the geometry that we study today? > > As late as the 18th century most people learned geometry directly > from (translations of) Euclid's text. > > There have been a lot of changes in geometry since then (add >"continuity" postulates, the development of projective and >nonEuclidean geometry) but elementary geometry texts are still >organized along the lines that Euclid used.
Until as late as the 1920's, American plane geometry books were still arranged (as revealed by the Table of Contents) strictly according to Euclid's five "books"Book I, rectilinear figures; Book II, the circle; Book IIIsimilar figures; Book IVareas; Book Vregular polygons and the circle. (Solid geometry books also used Euclid's "books".) It was not until the 1920's that some "radical" writers, like Stone & Millis, came along and decided that we no longer were bound by Euclid's rigid organization. Then we started seeing "chapters" on such separate subjects as congruence, parallel lines, locus, constructions, etc. To some people that may seem a long time ago, but think how many hundreds of years went by when geometry books were arranged in that same way!!

