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interview of euclid
Ammar: Hi Mr. Euclid.
Ammar: How are you Sir?
Euclid: I am fine thank you.
Euclid: How may I help you.
Ammar: I want an interview of you Sir for my history teacher. May I get it?
Euclid: Yes, sure, why not. So what do you want to ask me?
Ammar: If you wonít mind, can I ask some personal questions in the beginning of the interview?
Euclid: OK! I wonít mind unless they are too personal.
Ammar: What date were you born, and where were you born?
Euclid: I am not sure about my date of birth because in those days there were no birth certificates and our parents donít keep record of the dates of births. I believe I was born around 300 BC. I was born in Alexandria, Athens, Greece.
Ammar: Did you marry? How many kids do you have?
Euclid: Well, I married and I have two kids. The eldest on is a boy and the younger one is a girl.
Ammar: What school you went to? Tell us something about it.
Euclid: I went to Alexandria School. It is situated in Athens, Greece. The teachers of that school were the pupils of Plato. After I graduated from that school I started teaching in that school. After working for a while I created a school of mathematics and then I started teaching there.
Ammar: Were you interested in mathematics since the beginning of your studies or you changed your mind later?
Euclid: At first when I joined school and I had no idea of what I will become. I donít know what happened and I later became interested in math and I thought of becoming a mathematician.
Ammar: During the time you were in school, there were very famous Greek Philosophers like Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato. They also had many different followers, who do you think you follow? Why?
Euclid: I think I belong to the persuasion of Plato because I was taught by his pupils and the ideas in me are quite platonist. You could see that by reviewing the results of my researches (Proculs, p. 57[68:19-20]; Bulmer-Thomas, p.415).
Ammar: What contributions you made in mathematics?
Euclid: You know that I devoted my whole life in the field of math and I think all of my works are a contribution to the field of math. All of my works are combined in form of books. They are Elements, Data, On Divisions of Figures, Phaenomena and Optics.
Ammar: Tell us something about your book Data.
Euclid: The Data is closely related to the first four books of the Elements. It opens with definitions of the different senses in which things are said to be ďgivenĒ. Thus lines, angles, and ratios may be given in magnitude, rectilinear figures may be given in species or given in form, points and lines may be given in position and so on. These definition are followed by 94 propositions which state that when certain aspects of a figure are given, other aspects are given (Boyer, p. 117-118: Bulmer-Thomas p. 425-430). The Data is also considered important in the development of algebra. (B.L. Van der Waerden, Science Awakening I, trans. Arnold Dresden (Groningen Holland: P. Noordhoff, [1975?]), p. 198)
Ammar: Mr. Euclid, what is your book On Division of Figures based on?
Euclid: It consists of 36 propositions concerning division of various figures into two or more equal parts or parts in given ratios. These divisions may be into like figures. On Division of Figures also contains division into unlike figures. The figures include triangle, parallelogram, trapezia, circles quadrilaterals, and figures bound by an arc of a circle and two straight lines from a given angle. Another important thing that book has is the proofs. Among those proofs only four have survived because the others were proved to be wrong (Bulmer Thomas, p. 426; Heath, Greek, I p. 425-6).
Ammar: I heard a lot about your book Phaenomena. It gained a lot of popularity. Tell us some important points of that book.
Euclid: It is a tract on sphaeric, the study of sphaerical geometry for the purpose of explaining planetary motions (Heath, Greek, I p. 11-12). It is present in Greek and is quite similar to On the Moving Sphere. In the book, I stated that an ellipse may be obtained from cutting a cylinder.
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Ancient Greek philosophers, Euclid, Plato, Teacher, Euclid of Megara
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