Honors College Senior Thesis Presentations

Title

Japanese Temple Geometries: Exploring Sangaku Beyond Euclid

Presenter Information

Nathan HartmannFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Mathematics / Applied Math

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Elizabeth Donovan, PhD.

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

During the Edo period of Japan, when the country was closed from the rest of
the world from 1603 until 1867, the field of mathematics developed in a different way
from how it developed in the rest of the world. One way we see this development
is through the sangaku, the thousands of geometric examples hung in various Shinto
and Buddhist temples throughout the country. Written on wooden tablets by various
people, all these problems hold true within the Euclidean geometric plane. During
the 1800s, while Japan was still closed, non-Euclidean geometries began to developed,
so the isolated nation was entirely unaware of these new systems. Thus, we will
explore the sangaku in two of the other well-known systems, namely the neutral and
hyperbolic geometric systems. Specifically, we will highlight how these traditionally-
solved problems change under the varying definitions of line parallelism.

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Honors College Senior Thesis Presentations

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Japanese Temple Geometries: Exploring Sangaku Beyond Euclid

During the Edo period of Japan, when the country was closed from the rest of
the world from 1603 until 1867, the field of mathematics developed in a different way
from how it developed in the rest of the world. One way we see this development
is through the sangaku, the thousands of geometric examples hung in various Shinto
and Buddhist temples throughout the country. Written on wooden tablets by various
people, all these problems hold true within the Euclidean geometric plane. During
the 1800s, while Japan was still closed, non-Euclidean geometries began to developed,
so the isolated nation was entirely unaware of these new systems. Thus, we will
explore the sangaku in two of the other well-known systems, namely the neutral and
hyperbolic geometric systems. Specifically, we will highlight how these traditionally-
solved problems change under the varying definitions of line parallelism.