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