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Geometry arose independently in a number of early cultures as a practical way for dealing with lengths, areas, and volumes. Geometry began to see elements of formal mathematical science emerging in the West as early as the 6th century BC.[1] By the 3rd century BC, geometry was put into an axiomatic form by Euclid, whose treatment, Euclid's *Elements*, set a standard for many centuries to follow.[2] Geometry arose independently in India, with texts providing rules for geometric constructions appearing as early as the 3rd century BC.[3] Islamic scientists preserved Greek ideas and expanded on them during the Middle Ages.[4] By the early 17th century, geometry had been put on a solid analytic footing by mathematicians such as René Descartes and Pierre de Fermat. Since then, and into modern times, geometry has expanded into non-Euclidean geometry and manifolds, describing spaces that lie beyond the normal range of human experience.

**Discrete geometry**is concerned mainly with questions of relative position of simple geometric objects, such as points, lines and circles. It shares many methods and principles with combinatorics.

Geometry has applications to many fields, including art, architecture, physics, as well as to other branches of mathematics.

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## History

The earliest recorded beginnings of geometry can be traced to ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt in the 2nd millennium BC.[8][9] Early geometry was a collection of empirically discovered principles concerning lengths, angles, areas, and volumes, which were developed to meet some practical need in surveying, construction, astronomy, and various crafts. The earliest known texts on geometry are the Egyptian *Rhind Papyrus* (2000–1800 BC) and *Moscow Papyrus* (c.

In the 7th century BC, the Greek mathematician Thales of Miletus used geometry to solve problems such as calculating the height of pyramids and the distance of ships from the shore. He is credited with the first use of deductive reasoning applied to geometry, by deriving four corollaries to Thales' Theorem.[1] Pythagoras established the Pythagorean School, which is credited with the first proof of the Pythagorean theorem,[14] though the statement of the theorem has a long history[15][16]Eudoxus (408–c. 355 BC) developed the method of exhaustion, which allowed the calculation of areas and volumes of curvilinear figures,[17] as well as a theory of ratios that avoided the problem of incommensurable magnitudes, which enabled subsequent geometers to make significant advances.

Although most of the contents of the*Elements*were already known, Euclid arranged them into a single, coherent logical framework.[19] The

*Elements*was known to all educated people in the West until the middle of the 20th century and its contents are still taught in geometry classes today.[20]Archimedes (c. 287–212 BC) of Syracuse used the method of exhaustion to calculate the area under the arc of a parabola with the summation of an infinite series, and gave remarkably accurate approximations of Pi.[21] He also studied the spiral bearing his name and obtained formulas for the volumes of surfaces of revolution.

*Woman teaching geometry*. Illustration at the beginning of a medieval translation of Euclid's Elements, (c. 1310)

Indian mathematicians also made many important contributions in geometry. The *Satapatha Brahmana* (3rd century BC) contains rules for ritual geometric constructions that are similar to the *Sulba Sutras*.

*Aryabhatiya*(499) includes the computation of areas and volumes. Brahmagupta wrote his astronomical work

*Brāhma Sphuṭa Siddhānta*in 628. Chapter 12, containing 66 Sanskrit verses, was divided into two sections: "basic operations" (including cube roots, fractions, ratio and proportion, and barter) and "practical mathematics" (including mixture, mathematical series, plane figures, stacking bricks, sawing of timber, and piling of grain).[25] In the latter section, he stated his famous theorem on the diagonals of a cyclic quadrilateral. Chapter 12 also included a formula for the area of a cyclic quadrilateral (a generalization of Heron's formula), as well as a complete description of rational triangles (

*i.*[26][27]Al-Mahani (b. 853) conceived the idea of reducing geometrical problems such as duplicating the cube to problems in algebra.[28]Thābit ibn Qurra (known as Thebit in Latin) (836–901) dealt with arithmetic operations applied to ratios of geometrical quantities, and contributed to the development of analytic geometry.[4]Omar Khayyám (1048–1131) found geometric solutions to cubic equations.[29] The theorems of Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), Omar Khayyam and Nasir al-Din al-Tusi on quadrilaterals, including the Lambert quadrilateral and Saccheri quadrilateral, were early results in hyperbolic geometry, and along with their alternative postulates, such as Playfair's axiom, these works had a considerable influence on the development of non-Euclidean geometry among later European geometers, including Witelo (c. 1230–c. 1314), Gersonides (1288–1344), Alfonso, John Wallis, and Giovanni Girolamo Saccheri.[30]

In the early 17th century, there were two important developments in geometry. The first was the creation of analytic geometry, or geometry with coordinates and equations, by René Descartes (1596–1650) and Pierre de Fermat (1601–1665).

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