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Supporting Australian Mathematics Project: Middle years.

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Year 7

Measurement and Geometry

The Cartesian plane and plotting points

Coordinate geometry is one of the most important and exciting ideas in mathematics. In particular, it is central to the mathematics students meet at school. It provides a connection between algebra and geometry through graphs of lines and curves. This enables geometric problems to be solved algebraically and provides geometric insights into algebra.

Cartesian geometry has traditionally been attributed to René Descartes (1599−1650) and Pierre de Fermat (1601−1665), who independently provided the beginning of the subject as we know it today.

The invention of calculus was an extremely important development in mathematics that enabled mathematicians and physicists to model the real world in ways that were previously impossible. It brought together nearly all of algebra and geometry using the coordinate plane. The invention of calculus depended on the development of coordinate geometry.