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nailpolishfanatic's avatar

How does a person write a mathematical report?

Asked by nailpolishfanatic (6617points) November 4th, 2010

I need help… I am supposed to write a report for math, we watched the mathematical movie Flatland

and this is what the teacher said we needed to do…

KLL maths, analyzing and report writing in mathematics
Introduction: what are you doing
Information/measurement what are going to need and how are you going to do it?
Mathematical calculation
Interpretation of your answers
Do your answers make sense?
Organisation of presentation.

this is what I wrote…am I on the good way of doing it?


The short movie called Flatland is based on a book of the same name. It forst starts in a 2-dimensional and basically the storyline is based on the 2-d town’s birthday. A girl and her father argue over how a 3-dimensional cube she (hexagon)has he own opinions and her father (square) has his own opinions.
At the end it turned out that the girl (hexagon) was right.

I just don’t seem to understand. I am also supposed to do the same thing for English :/

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9 Answers

6rant6's avatar

I think, given that it’s a math class, you should be talking about how difficult it is to see three dimensional objects in a two dimensional perspective. It’s valuable to see that because it helps people understand that things in higher dimensions than three may be real even though we have trouble conceptional them.

You know, one of the theories kicking around about the nature of the universe is that it is actually 17 dimensions, and that we live in a three dimensional part of it, but can occasionally see the outlines of higher dimensional objects.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

@6rant6 , man I hate it when I don’t understand a certain thing in a subject :/
Sorry, but I still don’t get where you are going with your sayings:(

tranquilsea's avatar

Imagine a point (0 dimension). Now imagine a second point and draw a line between the two (1st dimension). With the first dimension you have length but no width. An ant could walk up and down that line but could not walk up or down. Add another point (2nd dimension) and connect it to the other two and fill in all the points in between and you have a flat land or a plane now. That ant could walk forward and backward and up and down. But if you were to pass a sphere through this flat plane all an ant would see would be a small point that gradually gets bigger and then smaller. Now if you add another point (3rd dimension) you have depth. That ant could forward and backward and walk up and down and left and right.

We, of course, live in the third dimension and therefore have the easiest time imagining it.

You could think of the forth dimension as duration or time. You have a point in the present and make another point in your future and connect the two.

And it goes on and on.

Like that 2nd dimension ant who couldn’t see the sphere in the second dimension we can’t see the forth dimension in a manner that makes sense to our minds.

I hope that helps :-)

roundsquare's avatar

There’s a couple of approaches…

There’s another way to think about what @tranquilsea is saying. Its a bit more complicated but it helps if you want to think about things more generally.

A point on a one dimensional surface can be described by a single number. E.g. if you ask “how where are you on Rt. 37” you can say “I’m at mile post 45” and people know where you are. So your coordinate is (45).

A point on a two dimensional surface requires two numbers. E.g. if you ask someone where they are in a room they can “from the door, I’m 10 feet to the left and 3 feet up.” Your coordinates are then (10, 3).

If someone asks “where is the fly thats buzzing around your room” you can say “10 feet from the floor, 3 feet from the north wall and 7 feet from the east wall” and that gives you where the fly is. So the coordinates are (10, 3, 7).

So, here’s a question for you to look at. How many dimensions is the earth’s surface? Can you describe where on the planet someone is with one number? With two? With three?

roundsquare's avatar

@6rant6 I thought it was either 10, 11 or 26 dimensions. I’ve never heard 17 before. Then again… I guess there are a lot of theories out there.

6rant6's avatar


That’s 17 base 19, of course.

roundsquare's avatar

@6rant6 My apologies, I didn’t realize we were speaking in base 19. I get confused between base 19 conversations and base 87 conversations.

6rant6's avatar

@roundsquare Easy mistake. I have the same problem with English and Hungarian.

roundsquare's avatar

@6rant6 Often interchanged in conversations about airplanes or chocolate covered screwdrivers.

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