Date: Apr 7, 1995 9:47 AM
Author: F. Alexander Norman
Subject: Re: Serra's _Discovering Geometry_ (fwd)

On Thu, 6 Apr 1995, Linda Dodge wrote:

>

> .... ...

>

> Do we really need a full year of geometry, anyway?

>

ACK..URGHHH..OOoooo ... (the sounds of a teacher of university

mathematics majors barely surviving

an apoplectic fit)

Common scenario (senior level abstract algebra class):

Prof: Ok, today we're going to see some of the power of the field theory

we've been discussing, by showing how it has been used to solve some

classical geometrical problems that eluded the best mathematical minds

for millenia. Namely, the problems of "doubling a cube" and "trisecting

an arbitrary angle."

Student1: Huh?

P: You recall how you learned to bisect angles using a compass and

straightedge ...

S2: No way man, use a retractor?

S3: What's a compass?

S4 (to S2): That's reFRACtor, nimrod!

P: C'mon you guys. You remember doing Euclidean constructions in high

school geometry ...

Students (in unison): Huh??

S2: No way! Geometry is just like proof stuff, you know angle-side-angle

like.

P: ACK...URGHHH ...OOOoooo

Hmmmm...come to think of it, why not just ditch it altogether! :>

Sandy Norman

UT San Antonio