Dear friends, fellow math teachers, game developers and artists.
I've got this little dilemma I'm wondering if you could help me with. You see, part of my geometry curriculum deals with compass and straightedge constructions. My colleagues have suggested that this is a topic we, not exactly skip, but... I dunno what the appropriate word here is... trim? They argue that it's largely irrelevant for our students, is overly difficult, and represents a minimal component of the SOL test. And I don't think they're wrong. I haven't used a compass and straightedge since I left high school either.
However, something about these constructions strikes as beautiful. Part of me thinks that's enough reason to include them, but it also got me thinking about more practical applications of them. Where did I use them? I used them making video games. Video games build worlds out of "lines" and "spheres". Beautiful worlds.
My question is this, do my 3D artist friends feel the same way? Do you remember your compass and straightedge constructions? Do you use them, or some derivation thereof, in your everyday work? Are you glad to have learned them? Or are the elementary constructions made so trivial in modern 3D modeling software that you don't even think about them?
Please comment and share.