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Technical Math For Dummies® by Barry Schoenborn, Bradley Simkins

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Chapter 15. Calculating Areas, Perimeters, and Volumes

In This Chapter

  • Identifying shapes and calculating their areas by using easy formulas

  • Knowing the parameters of perimeters (and figuring out their lengths)

  • Performing volume calculations

A lot of math (technical and otherwise) is about calculating areas, perimeters, and volumes. Those calculations can be fun, easy, and very useful. For example, computing areas is right at the core of the building trades. If you do carpentry, concrete, painting, carpeting, or drywall, you use area calculations a lot. You work with perimeters in fashion technology, landscaping, and fence installation, among other fields.

The lab tech, the cosmetologist, the brewer, and the chef deal with volumes more than other careers do, but they aren't the only ones. Automotive technicians have to know how to figure engine capacity, and cement masons need to know concrete volumes.

There are two wonderful things, in particular, about areas, perimeters, and volumes. The first is that the handiest, most important calculations are the easiest ones. The second is that you grew up with some of the basic shapes they deal with, so you've got a head start.

In this chapter, you review the entire length and width of areas, work your way around perimeters, and explore the not-so-voluminous world of volumes.

Area: All That Space in the Middle

An area is a region surrounded by a closed curve (an entity with a continuous border, like a square, a rectangle, a triangle, or a circle). ...

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