Article Summary: "They assume math is a concept that begins and ends in a
classroom. Of course you have probably heard the words "Why do I need to
study math when I never use it?" and one of the most maligned subcategories
of learning math is learning triangle geometry."
Pity poor geometry or, for that matter, you can pity mathematics in general as people have a tendency to dismiss these subjects because they have too literally an opinion of it. They assume math is a concept that begins and ends in a classroom. Of course you have probably heard the words "Why do I need to study math when I never use it?" and one of the most maligned subcategories of learning math is learning triangle geometry. Right triangles. Obtuse triangles. Dissecting triangles. When do you ever use this stuff? Well, you use it all the time but often don't notice it and when you develop a deeper understanding of triangles a tremendous wealth of information opens to you.
In fact, the depth of the value of triangle often extends to areas most people would never even dream of. For example, did you know that triangles form the basis of a number of martial arts? Ok, that statement probably got your attention so let's explain it. In the Indonesian martial art of Silat (Silat means fighting) the art is based around impacting an opponent of the weakness of the triangular base the body uses to stand. When you disrupt the triangle at a weak point, it becomes difficult to stand up! So, this is an entire martial art based around triangles and it is a lot easier on the body than breaking boards like in karate!
If the above example shows anything it would be the fact that triangles play a far greater role than most people think. This is why triangles have long since been studied by cultures and civilizations. If one looks at ancient history it becomes clear that the Ancient Egyptians and the Greeks spent a great deal of time learning the sophisticated aspects of the geometry of the triangle because it was the basis of much of their engineering and science. These ancient cultures realized that triangles possessed a great deal of value that was transferable to a number of other disciplines.
There simply is an incredibly vast amount of information that we have derived from the study of the triangle and, quite honestly, even after many thousands of years of study there is still more to learn from the study of the triangle. In fact, it is often through the study of the triangle in particular that much is revealed about the rest of the realm of geometry.
In studying the geometry of triangles a great many professional careers open to you. There are a great many careers that require a solid foundation in geometric skills and developing a high level of skill in this area will make your ability to succeed in these careers far more likely. Now, some careers are fairly obvious such as engineering but there are those careers that are not so obvious such as figure skating. Yes, if you look at it closely many movements in figure skating involve dissecting the angles of a triangle.
There really is no limit to the information and applications found within understanding a triangle. This is why a clear understanding of the basic concepts is critical. No, you do not have to take a college level course in geometry in order to be a figure skater and you wouldn't need a high level of geometric skill to perform a number of skills based on principles found in the geometry of a triangle. However, if you have an understanding of the basic concepts of triangle you will have a much clearer understanding of those principles than someone who lacks an understanding of the concepts.