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his book is for a first college-level geometry course and is suitable for mathematics

T

majors, especially prospective high school teachers. This second edition differs

from the first mainly in that errors have been corrected (many thanks to helpful

n

spherical geometry. Much of the content will be familiar to geometry instructors: a

solid introduction to axiomatic Euclidean geometry, some non-Euclidean geometry,

and a substantial amount of transformation geometry. However, we present some

important novelties: We pay significant attention to applications, we provide optional

dynamic geometry courseware for use with The Geometers Sketchpad, and we include

a chapter on polyhedra and planar maps. By extending the content of geometry

courses to include applications and newer geometry, such a course not only can

teach mathematical skills and understandings but can help students understand the

twenty-first century world that is unfolding around us. By providing software support

for discovery learning, we allow experiments with new ways of teaching and learning.

The intertwined saga of geometric theory and applications is modern as well

as ancient, providing a wonderful mathematical story that continues today. It is

a compelling story to present to students to show that mathematics is a seamless fabric, stretching from antiquity until tomorrow and stretching from theory

to practice. Consequently, one of our goals is to express the breadth of geometric

applications, especially contemporary ones. Examples include symmetries of artistic

patterns, physics, robotics, computer vision, computer graphics, stability of architectural structures, molecular biology, medicine, pattern recognition, and more. Perhaps

surprisingly, many of these applications are based on familiar, long-standing geometric

ix

PREFACE

ideas showing once again that there is no conflict between the timelessness and

modernity of good mathematics.

In recent years, high school instruction in geometry has become much less

extensive and much less rigorous in many school districts. Whatever advantage this

may bring at the high school level, it changes the way we need to instruct mathematics

students at the college level. In the first place, it makes instruction in geometry

that much more imperative for all students of mathematics. In addition, we cannot

always assume extensive familiarity with proof-oriented basic Euclidean geometry.

Consequently, we begin at the beginning, displaying a portion of classical Euclidean

geometry as a deductive system. For the most part, our proofs are in the style of

Euclid which is to say that they are not as rigorous as they could be. We do

present a snapshot of some geometry done with full rigor so that students will have

exposure to that. In addition, we carefully discuss why full rigor is important in

some circumstances and why it is not always attempted in teaching, research, or

applications.

Except for Chapters 5 and 6 and parts of Chapter 7, this text requires little more

than high school mathematics. Nonetheless, students need the maturity to deal with

proofs and careful calculations. In Chapters 5 and 6 and parts of Chapter 7, we assume

a familiarity with vectors as commonly presented in multivariable calculus. Derivatives

also make a brief appearance in Chapter 5. Matrices are used in Chapter 6, but it is

not necessary to have studied linear algebra in order to understand this material. All

we assume is that students know how to multiply matrices and are familiar with the

associative law.

It would be foolish to pretend that this book surveys all of the major topics and

applications of geometry. For example, differential geometry is represented only by

one short section. I have tried to choose topics that would be most appealing and

accessible to undergraduates, especially prospective high school teachers.

A good deal of flexibility is possible in selecting a sequence of topics from which

to create a course. This book contains two approaches to geometry: the axiomatic

and the computational. When I am teaching mostly prospective teachers, I emphasize

the axiomatic (Chapters 14) and sprinkle in a little computational material from

Chapter 5 or 6. When I have mainly mathematics majors with applied interests and

others, such as computer science majors, I reverse the emphasis, concentrating on

Chapters 5, 6, and 7. I find Chapter 8 works well in either type of course.

There is a lot of independence among the chapters of the book. For example,

one might skip Chapters 1 through 3 since in only a few places in other chapters

(mainly Chapter 4) is there any explicit dependence on them. An instructor can

remind students of the relevant theorems as the need arises. Chapter 4 is not needed

for any of the other parts. Chapter 5 can be useful in preparation for Chapter 6 only

insofar as we often think of points as position vectors in Chapter 6. Chapter 7 relies

on one section of Chapter 2 and one section of Chapter 5. Chapter 8 is completely

PREFACE

given at the start of each chapter.

In writing this book, I am aware of the many people and organizations that

have shaped my thoughts. I learned a good deal about applications of geometry at

the Grumman Corporation (now Northrop-Grumman) while in charge of a robotics

research program. Opportunities to teach this material at Adelphi University and

during a year spent as a visiting professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point

have been helpful. In particular, I thank my cadets and my students at Adelphi for

finding errors and suggesting improvements in earlier drafts. Thanks are due to the

National Science Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, and COMAP for involving me

in programs dedicated to the improvement of geometry at both the collegiate and

secondary levels. Finally, I wish to thank numerous individuals with whom I have been

in contact (for many years in some cases) about geometry in general and this book in

particular: Robert Bumcrot, Kevin Carmody, Donald Crowe, Sol Garfunkel, Marian

Gidea, Andrew Gleason, Greg Lupton, Joseph Malkevitch, John Oprea, Mohammed

Salmassi, Brigitte Selvatius, and Marie Vanisko.

Prof. Walter Meyer

Adelphi University

Please contact Academic Press for the Instructors Manual, which contains a guide to

helping students use The Geometers Sketchpad, plus answers to even-numbered exercises.

Web content for students can be accessed following the instructions on p. xx of this

book.

xi

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