# Geometry

## Constructing a Line in a Square

(New Question of the Week) Last month we had a question from a Czech student asking about a geometry problem. The discussion illustrates language issues that can arise, and how we try to guide a student to solve a problem himself. I will fill in some gaps as we examine how to approach an interesting …

## Is a Square a Rectangle? Classifying Shapes

We get many questions about classifying shapes, from both elementary and high school students (or their parents or teachers). They often have trouble with the very idea of classifying items by applying definitions, and also with the fact that definitions can vary, both between everyday and technical usages, and from one textbook to another.

## What Role Should a Figure Play in a Proof?

Questions about geometric proofs have often been handicapped by the inability to show us the associated figure (until we made that easier to do on this new site). In principle, that should not be a problem, because the statement to be proved should contain all the necessary information. It should never be necessary to refer …

## Unfamiliar Geometry Notation

(New Question of the Week) One of the benefits of being a Math Doctor is interacting with the math of many cultures around the world, as we attract an international following. We have observed variations in terminology and notation from country to country, as well as variations in the content of math education (some better …

## How Can I Remember Area Formulas?

Students often ask about formulas for areas or volumes. Sometimes they are just overwhelmed by the number of formulas they need to know; other times they are curious about how we know they are true. The answer to both questions is, in part, the same: if you know at least something of where they come …

## How to Write a Proof: The Big Picture

Early in our history, we answered many questions about geometric proofs, particularly the “two-column” variety. Many of these were collected into a FAQ page. I want to briefly survey just some of what we have said about the big picture – an overall view of how to approach a proof, and how to work your …

## A Sample of Ask Dr. Math, Part 2: Questions Outside of School

In the first post, I gave a small sampling of questions we’ve had from students, parents, and teachers, all related to school, and discussed how we like to deal with these. But we also get many questions with no direct relation to school. These may come from people who actually use math in their work …