Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Most Recent Frustration

In the master's class I'm currently taking, we've recently set out proving several of the propositions from Book 1 of Euclid's Elements.  Here's what gets me:

I don't know what I'm "allowed" to know when doing these proofs.  I can't imagine I'm supposed to memorize dozens of propositions, in order, so I know what I am and am not allowed to use on these proofs.  I don't even know what straightedge/compass constructions I'm allowed to use, either.  I'm dreading the upcoming test, I have no idea what I'm supposed to know and how I'm supposed to get that information.

How the heck?!


three of clubs said...

I don't envy you the task. I tried helping my son with his homework a few years ago when his honor's geometry class spent the first quarter going through Book 1.

He found it helpful to rewrite the sequence of constructions using informal language describing what he was doing. I can't recall the exact resource he used, but this might help

You can click through the constructions a bite-size piece at a time.

I started looking through it again upon reading your post; bet it keeps Alzheimer's at bay.

Darren said...

You won't believe this, but that's the site I've been looking at!