As a math teacher, I am compelled to emphasize the importance of the coordinate plane on a regular basis.  I have introduced the concept, terminology, and applications regularly but just in the past few years emphasized the historical context that brought about recognition of the Cartesian plane.  

Of course, I'm referring to Rene Descartes and the "fly on the wall" story by which he developed the ideas behind the coordinate plane we use today.  While the true history of this topic is not the most enthralling, with a little bit of indulgence on the part of the storyteller (me), it comes to life and is relevant to my students.

Examples of how I've indulged this story:
  • "If you think math is boring now, how boring was it for some guy named Rene to have to come up with a way to describe a fly on a ceiling tile?"
  • "So he laid in bed until around the crack of noon before taking to his studies, much like many college students do nowadays.  I doubt they do so in recognition of Descartes' honor though."
  • and my personal favorite "Who wouldn't wake up whenever a Swedish princess asked and teach her how to do math? Do you know how long I've been waiting for a phone call like that?"

So, with that, I introduce to you my "Good For Nothing" website.  Thanks for your support.


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