Home > Resource of the Month Archive Detail

<< Prev 2/3/2008 Next >>

Free Geometry Software Is Good...But Is It Useful?

Dynamic geometry software have become one of the best tools available to mathematics teachers. A good example is Geometers Sketch Pad, which dominates the educational market and is available at a reasonable price. However, the one problem is how to give students access to the geometry software when they are working on homework problems at home?

One possible "rescue" program is KSEG, a FREE dynamic geometry program that focuses on Euclidean geometry. The author of KSEG is Ilya Baran, a Ph.D. student in computer graphics at MIT. As he explains, KSEG started out as a little DOS program back in 1996, because he "didn't want to pay $40 for a copy of Sketchpad." Written while in high school, Baran used it to produce his high school senior thesis "on chaotic dynamics of a family of geometrically-defined functions." The program has moved from DOS to Windows to C++ to Linux environments.

Fully documented and available in 15 languages, the dynamic software program constructs geometrical figures involving points, segments, rays, lines, circles, and arcs, makes measurements, transforms objects (rotates, translates, scales, reflects), constructs loci, does reverse dragging, allows redefining of points, allows recursion macros, supports view panning and zooms, and, most importantly, prints a copy of your creations.

Though written for his own use, Baran wants KSEG to be used by mathematics teachers in their classrooms. In turn, he would like feedback on how it was used, problems, needed options, etc.