Abstract: Taxi Cab Geometry

Science Seminar

Title:  Taxi Cab Geometry:  don't be taken for a ride

Speaker:  Steve Armstrong, Department of Mathematics, LeTourneau University, Longview, TX

February 23, 2012, 11;00 am

C101 Glaske, LeTourneau University, Longview, TX

We are used to measuring distance on the coordinate plane using a version of the Pythagorean theorem.  D = sqrt((x1-x2)^2 + (y1-y2)^2).  This is called a metric.  What if we changed the way we measured distance?   What if we measured distance according to how a taxicab would travel .... only north/south or east/west.  This is a valid metric and results in some interesting geometric results.  It forces us to think "outside the box."