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

P: ACK...URGHHH ...OOOoooo

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

Sandy Norman
UT San Antonio