Number is Space.

Geometry to Understand the World Around


Arithmetic is an integral part of a child’s early learning. As children grow older, they naturally feel challenged to learn new things and explore the abilities of their minds in order to be well-rounded adults. Through time, the study of arithmetic has lead to a number of specializations that make up the world we live in today. Architects, engineers and a number of other professionals now depend on aspects of geometry in order to be effective in their field of work.

Geometry is an area within mathematics that focuses its studies on the shape, position and size of figures in relation to space. In geometry, there are certain aspects that need to be considered, no matter what the approach is or who is working on a problem, such as dimension and symmetry of the figures in question. Its study can be traced back to the 6th century BC and a number of different ways to study it have been created and modified over the years.

Practical geometry studies areas, volumes and general measurements, such as the circumference of a circle, the area of a square or the volume of a pyramid. This is attributed to Thales, who started applying it by comparing certain figures to others he had already calculated. Axiomatic geometry, Euclid’s creation, talks about axioms, points, lines and planes. It is a simpler approach with a very rigorous idea.  Geometry of position is the study of the relative position of figures and their spatial relations, and which led to a series of questions that helped improve knowledge on the subject of geometry in general.

Geometry is one of the main disciplines of the Quadrivium, the higher division of the liberal arts. Liberal arts were taught in medieval universities as a way to prepare students for professions such as medicine and philosophy. The Quadrivium included arithmetic, music and astronomy, aside from geometry. The Trivium, the lower division of the liberal arts, consisted of logic, grammar and rhetoric. These studies provided students with general information on language and the vast and yet unexplored world around them.

As the second discipline of the Quadrivium, geometry helped students understand the world around them and gain the necessary knowledge about space matters in order to be able to create a physical solution for a problem. It gave them a different understanding of how things were structured and how they work, and ways to compare certain things with others. Although it was not so easy to understand how it can be applied further on, geometry became one of the pillars that would lead them to study things that are much more complicated. It is closely related to astronomy and it helped students understand this mathematical science better.

Recent findings show that physicists connect geometry as a vital aspect of the string theory. This attempt on unifying the four universal forces – gravity, the weak nuclear force, the strong nuclear force and electromagnetic force – into one theory holds geometry as its underlying connecting factor. Scientists strongly believe that there is a possibility of making predictions about the physical world through this string theory, of which geometry is a vital part of.