The Course Web page for
MA 223 Topics in Geometry Fall 2006
Hi! Welcome to the course web page for MA 223 Topics in Geometry for
the Fall 2006 semester.
The textbook for the class is:
The Four Pillars of Geometry by John Stillwell, Springer,
2005, ISBN 0387255303.
This book goes for $50 retail, but if you have time to get a used copy for
less, go for it. There's only one edition of this book so you don't have to
worry about getting the wrong version.
I really like this book. It covers geometry from four different, but overlapping
viewpoints:
 Euclidean geometry (like you usually see in high school; geometry like the
Greeks did).
 Coordinate geometry, where equations, vectors, matrices are used.
 Projective geometry, which has its roots in art (perspective drawing) but
ends up being the Mother of All Geometries.
 Transformation groups, which is the view that a geometry is defined by what
properties do not change (are invariant) under certain transformations. This
will expose us to hyperbolic geometry and give a glimpse at how modern mathematicians
view geometry.
Software: We'll be using GeoGebra
in this class. What's that, you say? It's a really cool program that
lets you draw geometric objects (points, lines, circles, curves, triangles,
etc) and, well, do geometry with them. It's pretty darn cool, and guess
what? IT'S FREE! Download it onto your computer (it's available for
Mac, Windows, and Linux) and give it a spin. We'll probably be using
this on the very first day of class. Yep.
Otherwise if you have any questions about this course, please
feel free to email me!
Sincerely, your instructor, Thomas Hull
Last updated 8/17/06
