The Geometer's Sketchpad
|Stable release||5.03 / February 18, 2011|
|Operating system||Mac OS X, Windows, Linux (under Wine)|
|Type||Interactive geometry software|
The Geometer's Sketchpad is a popular commercial interactive geometry software program for exploring Euclidean geometry, algebra, calculus, and other areas of mathematics. It was created by Nicholas Jackiw. It is designed to run on Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0 or later and Mac OS 8.6 or later (including Mac OS X). It also runs on Linux under Wine with a few bugs.
Geometer's Sketchpad includes the traditional Euclidean tools of classical geometric constructions; that is, if a figure (such as the pentadecagon) can be constructed with compass and straight-edge, it can also be constructed using this program. However, the program also allows users to employ transformations to "cheat," creating figures impossible to construct under the traditional compass-and-straight-edge rules (such as the regular nonagon). Objects can also be animated. The program also allows the determination of the midpoint and midsegments of objects.
Geometer's Sketchpad also allows one to measure lengths of segments, measures of angles, area, perimeter, etc. Some of the tools one can use include construct function, which allows the user to create objects in relation to selected objects. The transform function allows the user to create points in relation to objects, which include distance, angle, ratio, and others. With these tools, one can create numerous different objects, measure them, and potentially figure out hard-to-solve math problems.
Geometer's Sketchpad is used in many secondary mathematics classrooms throughout the United States and Canada. NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) had identified one of its six principles as a technology principle, stating that "Technology is essential in teaching and learning mathematics; it influences the mathematics that is taught and enhances students' learning." Geometer's Sketchpad is one of these examples. The program comes with program files to help deepen students' understanding of such concepts as slope, geometric transformations, and arithmetic on integers.
- Kimberling, Clark. Geometry in Action: A Discovery Approach Using The Geometer's Sketchpad. Key College Publishing, Emeryville, California, (2003), ISBN 1-931914-02-8.
- Scher, Daniel. Lifting the Curtain: The Evolution of The Geometer's Sketchpad Mathematics Educator, v10 n 2 pp 42–48 Sum 2000