The Geometer's Sketchpad
|Stable release||5.06 / April 26, 2013|
|Operating system||Mac OS X, Windows, Linux (under Wine)|
|Type||Interactive geometry software|
The Geometer's Sketchpad is a 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. If a figure (such as the pentadecagon) can be constructed with the compass and straightedge method, it can also be constructed in the program. The program allows "cheat" transformations to create figures impossible to construct under the compass and straightedge rules (such as the regular nonagon). Objects can be animated.
The program allows the creation of numerous objects which can be measured, and potentially used to solve hard math problems. The program allows the determination of the midpoints and midsegments of objects. Geometer's Sketchpad can measure lengths of segments, measures of angles, area, perimeter, etc. Some of the tools include a 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.
Use in education
Geometer's Sketchpad is used in many secondary mathematics classrooms throughout the United States and Canada. One of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics's six principles is 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 can used to fulfil this principle. 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