Getting Co-ordinated

Note the change of venue -- we'll be meeting in the "Costa Coffee" on the corner of Gt Marlborough St and Ramilies St.

With this session we embark on Stillwell's second "pillar" of geometry, leaving Euclid and ancient Greece behind in favour of Rene Descartes and the seventeenth century. The reading will be Chapter 3, sections[masked] inclusive. As usual, we recommend doing as many of the exercises as you can.

The arrival of coordinates made it possible to apply more algebra to geometry. This is a powerful technique but it can be offputting, so if you have trouble with anything specific please do ask in the comments and we can suggest a web page or two that will help. Be aware that if you're struggling, someone else probably is as well, and remember there'll be plenty of time to work through difficulties on the night.

We'll stop short of section 3.5 since some members may find the appearance of trigonometry a bit alarming -- we can also look at some of this in the session to help ease the transition.


This is a reading group for John Stillwell's Four Pillars of Geometry. The book can be purchased here (Amazon link). If you'd like to preview it first, we found an electronic copy hosted here (you need to register).

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  • camelia

    there goes my chance to get coordinated ;) - can't make Tuesdays until end of June. Do pls suggest some web pages for me please

    May 13, 2013

    • Rich C.

      :-( Don't worry, in July we'll probably be about ready to start with the perspective drawing & projective geometry, which will be a good time to jump back in! The Moodle site has some material from previous sessions (moodle.bigi.org.uk -- register with your email & enrol on the course using the code COXETER), we haven't been keeping it up to date very well but will definitely try to make more of an effort...

      May 14, 2013

  • Iain C.

    Can't make it this week, sorry.

    May 14, 2013

  • Elena

    Excellent, thanks.

    May 9, 2013

  • camelia

    bummer - I can't make Tuesdays. ;) Thanks for the eye opener to geometry though. ;)

    April 15, 2013

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