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What does a Geometer do?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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A geometer is a mathematician who specializes in the study of geometry. One of the most famous geometers was Euclid, an Ancient Greek geometer who set forth a number of basic concepts and rules in geometry which continue to be used to this day. China and numerous Muslim cultures also produced an array of notable geometers who contributed to the body of knowledge in this field and advanced the sciences and technology in their societies.

Geometry is a branch of math concerned with the study of the properties of space. Geometers study topics such as surfaces, solids, angles, points, and lines. The introduction of algebra allowed them to do so more theoretically, greatly advancing the field of geometry in the process. Around the world, students are often introduced to basic concepts in geometry at a relatively young age, as understanding geometry can be critical to understanding a variety of other topics in math and science, and many high school graduates are required to demonstrate proficiency in geometry before they can graduate.

Geometers work in a number of different fields. As mathematicians, they can work in research and lend their math skills to a variety of topics. Geometry is also vital for fields like engineering, which can make geometry education an important part of the training for many people who work in math and science-related industries. A geometer may also choose to focus on a specific area of interest, such as Euclidean geometry, algebraic geometry, or differential geometry.

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While people may think of math as something abstract which does not need to be applied to the real world, because geometry focuses heavily on describing and understanding spaces, it is actually a critical skill, and a geometer can be a valuable member of a team. Many contractors, for example, could be considered amateur geometers as they need to think about topics like tiling a space efficiently and attractively. Many people also use geometry on an unconscious level, for tasks ranging from making art to organizing potatoes in a baking dish for potatoes au gratin.

There are a number of career options for a geometer. People who have pursued their education all the way to the doctorate level often work as researchers, and may also be involved in the publication of trade magazines and the development of textbooks. Geometers can also work with organizations which set standards in the world of math and science. Others may opt to work as teachers providing instruction to students on all levels, or to apply their skills in the practical realm to a range of topics.

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