Mathematics Seminar on Nov. 15 looks at geometric constructions

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Tuesday, November 15, 3:00-4:00 PM in 102 Cook.  Our speaker, GRCC mathematics instructor Alejandro Saldivar, will explore geometric constructions in which only a compass is used.  The title and abstract are below.

For centuries, the classical approach to solving geometry problems required that solutions be demonstrated using only a compass and straightedge.  It was later discovered that the straightedge, while useful, was not really needed.  This talk will be accessible to anyone with an interest in geometry and an appreciation for understanding different ways of solving problems.  As always, everyone is welcome!

Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 PM.

Compass-Only Geometric Constructions

In the geometry of straightedge and compass constructions, it turns out that the straightedge is not necessary.  This math seminar will cover the following:

  • a bit of history involving compass-only geometry
  • why a collapsible compass is sufficient
  • some examples of constructions with just a compass
  • at least one reason why the straightedge is superfluous in the geometry of straightedge and compass

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