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Euclid

The Father of Geometry

Very little is known of the father of geometry, also known as Euclid. Records show that he lived somewhere around 300 B.C., but that date is sketchy. He was a Greek mathematician and is probably best known for his work Elements. Since little is known about the personal life of Euclid, it is difficult to do a biography on him.

His chief work, entitled Elements, is a comprehensive treatise on mathematics. It includes 13 volumes that entail such subjects as plane geometry, dealing with the properties of flat surfaces and of planar figures, such as the triangle; proportion in general, a particular kind of relation between groups of numbers or quantities; the properties of numbers; incommensurable magnitudes; and solid geometry, branch of geometry that deals with the properties and measurement of geometric figures in three-dimensional space. Some people say that the geometrical sections of Elements were actually rearrangements of Exodus previous work. However Euclid himself is said to have made several discoveries in his Number Theory, which is a branch of mathematics that deals with the properties and relationships of numbers.

Most historians believe Euclid was educated at Athens. His teachers may have included pupils of Plato, who was a philosopher and one of the most influential thinkers in Western philosophy. Euclid tought geometry in Alexandria and opened a school of mathematics there. He also wrote Data, which was a collection of geometrical theorems; Phenomena, a description of the heavens; and The Division of the Scale, which is a mathematical discussion of music. But yet again many historians believe many of these works (other than the Elements) were spuriously credited to him, others disagree and say that indeed his works are that of his own.

Euclid\'s Elements was used as a text for 2000 years, and even today a modified version of its first few books forms the basis of high school instruction in plane geometry. The first printed edition of Euclid\'s works was a translation from Arabic to Latin, which appeared at Venice in 1482.

Euclid is called the father of geometry. He has earned the respect from all mathematicians, and is regarded as the creator of the Elements, which is based on almost every point of geometry. Students learn about him every time they open their math book.

Category: Biographies