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A Definition of Geometry

Date: 2/1/96 at 20:30:25
From: Anonymous
Subject: geometry

Dear Dr.Math,

     I am a fifth grader in Stark school in Stamford, CT.  I am 
entering middle school this year.  This year we will be working on
geometry, but I hardly know what it is.  I asked my dad, but he gave me
a long answer that I couldn't understand.  My question is:  What
exactly is geometry?


Date: 3/9/96 at 0:23:42
From: Doctor Jodi
Subject: Re: geometry

Hi Alexandra! Boy is that a good question...

The word geometry comes from two Greek words--"geo" (which means Earth) 
and "metron" (which means to measure).  Geometry is founded in the study 
of the Earth.

The sort of geometry you need in daily life is FLAT or planar geometry.  
So this was the first sort of geometry developed.

Today, geometry is more the study of shapes than the study of Earth.  
And there are all sorts of shapes - not just flat ones, but curved ones, 
like the sphere of the earth - that geometers study.

I hope this makes sense to you. If not, please write back, and we'll try 
to explain again.  I hope you'll send us more math questions soon!

-Doctor Jodi,  The Math Forum

Associated Topics:
Elementary Definitions
Elementary Geometry
Elementary Three-Dimensional Geometry
Elementary Two-Dimensional Geometry

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