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Subject: "presidential Pythagorean proofs"     Previous Topic | Next Topic
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Member since Feb-11-04
Feb-11-04, 10:15 AM (EST)
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"presidential Pythagorean proofs"
   President James Garfield came up with an elegant proof of the Pythagorean Theorem using a trapezoid, which is widely known. In his book "Geometry for the Clueless" Bob Miller writ's: "Believe it or not, there are over 100 more proofs of this theorem including three by past presidents of the United States. We actually had smart presidents who liked math." (p. 62) Does anyone know about the other proofs mentioned and which other president(s) came up with them?

Jim Brawner
Department of Mathematics
Armstrong Atlantic State University
Savannah, GA

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Jan-09-06, 06:11 PM (EST)
1. "RE: presidential Pythagorean proofs"
In response to message #0
   There is/was a book entitled "The Pythagorean Proposition" by Elisha Scott Loomis (first ed. 1940), which contains 367 proofs of this theorem. Garfield's proof is said to be in this book but I don't know of any other presidential proofs.

However, I have never seen this long out-of-print book and have no idea if it is available anywhere.


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