Chapter 16

Picture This: Basic Geometry

In This Chapter

arrow Knowing the basic components of geometry: points, lines, angles, and shapes

arrow Examining two-dimensional shapes

arrow Looking at solid geometry

arrow Finding out how to measure a variety of shapes

G eometry is the mathematics of figures such as squares, circles, triangles, and lines. Because geometry is the math of physical space, it's one of the most useful areas of math. Geometry comes into play when measuring rooms or walls in your house, the area of a circular garden, the volume of water in a pool, or the shortest distance across a rectangular field.

Although geometry is usually a yearlong course in high school, you may be surprised by how quickly you can pick up what you need to know about basic geometry. Much of what you discover in a geometry course is how to write geometric proofs, which you don't need for algebra — or trigonometry, or even calculus.

In this chapter, I give you a quick and practical overview of geometry. First, I show you four important concepts in plane geometry: points, lines, angles, and shapes. Then I give you ...

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