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Beyond the Book: Geometry

Updated: Jan 14, 2021


Many kids wonder why they have to endure hours learning about lengths, areas, volumes and angles. Surely all this ‘old stuff’ can’t still be relevant today?

The truth is, students today might be surprised at how relevant subjects like geometry actually are in our everyday lives.

Let’s take an example every modern student can relate to: Video games.

When you play a video game, do you notice how realistic the graphics are in the background? The digital landscapes in your favourite game was designed with the help of geometry.

Geometry helps computer designers to build virtual realities that resemble real life. Most serious gamers will tell you that speed is far more important than how real the graphics appear. Fortunately, with the help of geometry, you can have both.

Geometric computations allow the programmers to create paths around the obstacles so that the virtual characters can move around in their ‘world.’ Video game engines will use something called ‘raycasting’, which is a technique that simulates a 3-D world using a 2-D map. Using this form of geometry helps speed up processing because calculations are only done for the vertical lines on the screen.

So now that we know geometry is used in video games, what other applications does it have? Well, before we get into the many practical uses of one of our favourite subjects, let’s take a short look into the history of geometry.