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May 15, 2010

Euclid of Alexandria

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Euclid of Alexandria lived in 365 - 300 BC (approximately). Very little is known about Euclid's life except that he taught in Alexandria, Egypt. He may have become educated at Plato's Academy in Athens, or possibly from some of Plato's students. Basically, all of the rules we use in Geometry today are based on the writings of Euclid, specifically 'The Elements'. The Elements includes the following Volumes:
Volumes 1-6: Plane Geometry
Volumes 7-9: Number Theory
Volume 10: Eudoxus' Theory of Irrational Numbers
Volumes 11-13: Solid Geometry
The first edition of the Elements was actually printed in 1482 in a very logical, coherent framework. More than one thousand editions have been printed throughout the decades. Schools only stopped using the Elements in the early 1900s, some were still using it in the early 1980's, however, the theories continue to be those that we use today.

Euclid's book the Elements also contains the beginnings of number theory. The Euclidean algorithm which is often referred to as Euclid's algorithm is used to determine the greatest common divisor (gcd) of two integers. It is one of the oldest algorithms known, and was included in Euclid's Elements. Euclid's algorithm does not require factoring.

He is famous for his treatise on geometry: The Elements. The Elements makes Euclid one of if not the most famous mathematics teacher. The knowledge in the Elements has been the foundation for teachers of mathematics for over 2000 years!

Geometry Tutorials like these wouldn't be possible without the work of Euclid.