Welcome to Seminar Five

Conic Sections (MTH112)

Weekly Content - Conic Sections

Think about taking two cones and gluing them together at their tip - one opening up and the other down. Now let a plane cut across the two cones. Depending on the angle of the plane, you'll get a variety of different shapes. These different shapes are what we call "conic sections".

Weekly Motivation

There is no branch of mathematics, however abstract, which may not some day be applied to phenomena of the real world. [1]
-- Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky

Lobachevsky's quote touches on a tension that has existed in mathematics for centuries: Is mathematics a pure or applied subject. This is something we'll look at more in this week's discussion.

[1] The Foundations of Geometry and the Non-Euclidean Plane by George Edward Martin (1982) p.225