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### Why So Many Shapes?

```
Date: 05/01/2001 at 21:42:52
From: Yifeng Zhao
Subject: Why so many shapes?

Dear Dr. Math,

I just want to know why there are so many shapes in the world. I'm
trying to figure it out, but when I tried, I thought it's impossible.
```

```
Date: 05/02/2001 at 13:58:29
From: Doctor Ian
Subject: Re: Why so many shapes?

Hi Yifeng,

That's a good question. Here's one way to think about it. If I give
you a number greater than 2, you can think of a shape that has that
number of sides, right?

Number    Shape
------    -----
3       triangle
4       rectangle
5       pentagon
6       hexagon
7       heptagon
8       octagon

and so on.  You can find names for lots of these shapes in the Dr.
Math FAQ, at

Naming Polygons and Polyhedra
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.polygon.names.html

but even if you don't know the 'official' name, you could use a name
like '256-gon' or '4527657-gon', and someone else would know what

Since every number has at least one shape associated with it, there
must be as many shapes as there are numbers. But there is an endless
supply of numbers - so there must be an endless supply of shapes, too!

more, or if you have any other questions.

- Doctor Ian, The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```

```
Date: 05/07/2001 at 14:13:14
From: Yifeng Zhao
Subject: Re: Why so many shapes?

Dear Dr.Math,

patience and intelligent hard work! I will devote more time to

Best regards,

Yifeng
```
Associated Topics:
Middle School Geometry
Middle School Polyhedra
Middle School Triangles and Other Polygons

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