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Teaching Pythagoras's Theorem Using Software

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

The Transition from Secondary to College Mathematics

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Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1256.1 - 25.1256.6



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Paper Authors


Bert Pariser Technical Career Institutes

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Bert Pariser is a faculty member in the Electronic Engineering Technology and Computer Science Technology departments at Technical Career Institutes. His primary responsibility is developing curriculum and teaching methodology for physics, thermodynamics, electromagnetic field theory, computers, and databases. Pariser has prepared grant proposals to the National Science Foundation, which produced the funding for a Fiber Optics Laboratory. He served as Faculty Advisor to the IEEE and Tau Alpha Pi National Honor Society. Pariser was instrumental in merging Tau Alpha Pi National Honor Society into the ASEE. In addition, Pariser co-founded five venture companies and as a management consultant successfully catalyzed more than $100 million of new shareholder value in client businesses. He has led cross-functional client teams in projects to find and capture value-creating profit and growth opportunities. Pariser is a Trustee of Mutual Fund Series Trust and serves as a member or the audit committee. Pariser received a Ph.D. and M.S. from Columbia University and a B.S. from MIT in electrical engineering. Email:

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Teaching Pythagoras’s Theorem with SoftwarePythagoras’s Theorem is one of the most famous equations in mathematics.Since he derived this theorem on the shores of Greece the world has used it tobuild the strong structures throughout the ages. The equation is simple a 2 + b2 =c2. How do you teach this to students who have grown up with Sesame Street aprogram which provided short term entertainment? Utah State UniversityNational Library of Virtual Manipulatives has come up with a puzzle that issupposed to teach this theorem. The software presents a puzzle and the studentis challenged to fill in the pieces to complete a square. I have watched teacherswho are excellent in puzzle solving complete the challenge but have no idea howthis can be used as a teaching tool for the Pythagorean theory. This paper isconcerned with solving the puzzle and explaining why the puzzle teaches thePythagorean theorem.

Pariser, B. (2012, June), Teaching Pythagoras's Theorem Using Software Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22013

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