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Geometry Textbooks

If you're intimidated by the prospect of an upcoming advanced math class, or if you simply slept through the subject in school and want to discover what you missed, finding a good geometry textbook will go a long way toward helping you master the material. Our selections provide clear, easy-to-follow instruction in the science, so you're sure to be challenged -- but never left behind.

10 Best Geometry Textbooks

A Brief History Of Geometry

You'd be forgiven for thinking that geometry was something invented by diabolical teachers with the specific intention of punishing you. However, the history of the science goes back thousands of years, and it's actually pretty interesting! Wait, come back — we're serious!

The ancient Egyptians were the first to use something resembling geometry around 3,000 BCE. They needed a way to quickly and easily survey land for agriculture, chart the course of the stars, and oh yeah — build a couple of pretty sweet pyramids.

The next great mathematical advancement would come from the famed Greek mathematician Euclid in about 300 B.C.E. He pioneered the method of making a series of small, intuitive statements, and then deducing a larger axiom from their sum. It was such a breakthrough that an entire branch of the science is named after him.

It would take nearly two millennia before the next big leap forward would come, but when it did, it came from France. The renowned philosopher Rene Descartes (of "I think, therefore I am" fame) figured out a way to use coordinates to illustrate proofs. His method incorporated algebra, and opened the door for the discovery of calculus.

Still, Euclidean geometry was the undisputed champ of the mathematical world until the early 19th century, when several mathematicians, including Carl Friedrich Gauss, altered Euclid's postulate involving parallel lines. Their discovery (which they cleverly named — wait for it — non-Euclidean geometry) led to the discovery of hyperbolic and elliptic geometry.

While there hasn't been a seismic shift in the field since the 1800s, advancements in geometry are still constantly being made. It's amazing to think that such an ancient field could still be ripe for discovery, but it's a testament to how rich and varied the math truly is.

Just think — if some numbers whiz makes a new discovery soon, you might have an entirely new type of math you'll be forced to learn!

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