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Name: jim kelly
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1995


Question:
What, in your expert opinion, is geometry good for in real life? Vertical angles, alternate interior angles, etc.


Replies:
By real life I assume that you mean other than the universe of theorems and proofs that usually baffle and discourage students in the all too standard courses that still dominate offerings in our public school curricula. I do not have the space here to give a lot of detail, but geometry is important in parts of every applied science. Most of my students are studying to become engineers. For them, geometry is an important part of design, drawing, and computer modeling. It also is used frequently in their physics and other physical science courses as part of understanding the effects of loads on structures and balancing points (centers of gravity) for composite solids. In chemistry, understanding the geometry of a molecule is related to understanding the properties of substances. Many more examples exist.

tee


The previous answer is generally a good one, but I think a little strong in asserting that the definitions and theorems "usually" confuse students. I would go with "sometimes" instead. Just as one of the goals in a science class is to learn the scientific method (questions in science). One of the goals in learning mathematics is to learn how new questions can be answered in mathematics. The definitions, theorems and proofs in a geometry provides an example of how this is done. There are many educators who think that high school geometry is not the best place to approach these ideas. There is merit in that view but I, for one, am not sure what replacement approach is best.

chaffer



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