Written for Canadian Community News by Mike Sterling
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A discipline that built the world as we know it is geometry. Everything from ancient times until now has relied upon geometric construction.
One of the most useful courses taken by young students in grade 8 or 9 is without question geometry. It's a beautiful subject of pleasure and utility. If it is combined with mechanical drawing, it is even better.
We can use it all our lives no matter our profession. If your children or grandchildren get a chance, have them take these two subjects at the same time. Urge them to do so.
Euclid's constructions were done with straight edge and compass. Even with very sophisticate design/drafting programs at my disposal, I still find I'm using a version of the straight edge and compass. The circle becomes my compass and the straight line my straight edge.
Shown below is an example of straight edge and compass construction.
Regular Hexagon Construction
Some shapes cannot be constructed with just straight edge and compass, but can be done other ways, but that is no matter.
Even with powerful design programs, I still use circles as avatars for multiple compasses and straight lines with no ruler marks on them as straight edges. Take a peek at an almost fully designed musical instrument using geometry and mechanical design There is a certain beauty in it.
Some of the developers of these programs would do well to use them on complicated designs. They would soon add a few more tools to make things easier.
Parents and Grandparents get the kids into a good geometry class and better still combine geometry with mechanical drafting and design. If you can't convince them, how about an adult education course for you?
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Monday, January 19, 2015