Math 4060 -- Foundations of Geometry
MWF 10-10:50 in LANG 223.
|Office Location: ||General Academic Building
||MW 4:30-6:30 and by appointment
All students should have successfully completed Math 3000
(Real Analysis I) before taking this course. The reason for
this is that this course is a proof intensive course and students
should already be familiar with basic proof writing techniques and
Prior or concurrent enrollment in either Math 3610
(Real Analysis II) or Math 3510 (abstract algebra)
is also strongly recommended. This is meant to ensure familiarity with proof
and proof technique. Nothing from real analysis or abstract
algbra will actually be needed.
Students who have not yet taken Math 3610
or Math 3510, but who are confident in their proof-writing ability,
are welcome in the course.
Early interest in geometry was almost certainly motivated by
a desire to improve building techniques and to be able to
create interesting shapes for temples, altars, toys, and machines.
Scholars in ancient Greece "abstracted" the study of shapes
into an idealized form. The most widely read textbook in history
is a geometry text by Euclid known as the Elements.
Thousands of years later, much of what
we learn in high school geometry is based on the ideas in Euclid's
text. Euclid's goal was to create a logical foundation for idealized
geometry. He wanted to provide proofs for geometric facts based on
as few axioms as possible. The course will begin with a careful study
of parts of Euclid and an exploration of what he was trying to do and
why. The course will then move on to the contributions of
19th and 20th century scholars who built on Euclid's work. The second half of
the course will look at alternative geometries where the so-called
parallel postulate need not hold.
The course will emphasize the role of proof in geometry, its historical
development, and the philosophical implications that proof had on
the development of scientific thought. Students will begin by reading
Euclid and continually develop their own proof writing skills and
Robin Hartshorne, Geometry: Euclid and Beyond,
Springer Verlag, 2000. ISBN 9780387986500
Euclid's Elements, The Thomas L. Heath translation edited
by Dana Densmore, Green Lion Press, 2002. ISBN 9781888009194.
Euclid is also available online at
to William Cherry's home page