Math 308

Course Information


Most of the course information can be found in the pdf course outline. Note: this was changed to incorporate a modification in the grading policy and to bring the outline of topics in line with what was actually covered given the constraints of time.

As we go through the course, I will update this overview of material.

Course Notes

Scanned course notes are available here. Note that notes from lectures 1, 3-5 will not appear here, for various reasons.


The only textbook listed for this course is a (translation of) Euclid's elements. The 1908 translation by Sir Thomas Heath is now in the public domain, and various editions are available, besides the one available in the bookstore. Other books and materials that may be useful during the term will be listed here.

  • An online, annotated version of the Elements.
  • Geometry: Euclid and Beyond by Robin Hartshorne. This is a superb book. Unfortunately, the physical copy seems to be missing from the UBC Library (or was when I checked). You should have access to the ebook though.
  • The GeoGebra computer environment for Euclidean geometry is good for exploring.
  • Based on the previous environment, a Euclidean golf game, where the aim is to make certain constructions as efficiently as possible (or at all).
  • Trigonometry by Gelf'and and Saul is an excellent book on trigonometry. It covers far more than we will in Math 308. It approaches the subject entirely geometrically, while we start with calculus. Chapters 2, 3 6 and 7 are all excellent and relevant to Math 308, and there are a number of good exercises.
  • The Four Pillers of Geometry by Stillwell is an excellent book that covers more than we will in Math308. The first four chapters are relevant to Math 308, especially chapter 3 on coordinates. The book is well-written, and you may enjoy reading the rest of it as well.
  • Geometry: a High School Course by Serge Lang is written at a very elementary level, much more elementary than this course for the most part. Chapter 10 on vectors is likely to be helpful if you need help understanding vectors. The subsequent chapters on transformations and isometries may be interesting too, but be warned that Lang treats the material differently from this course.


Homework 1 is due in class on 21 September. There is not much to it.

Homework 2 is due in class on 7 October. Some solutions are available.

Homework 3 is due in class on 21 October. Some solutions are available.

Homework 4 is due in class on 9 November. Some solutions are available.

Homework 5 is due in class on 20 November. Some solutions are available.

Homework 6 is due in class on 4 December.

Historical Background

Greeks & Their Predecessors

The slides from the first lecture.



The Midterm will take place in class on Wednesday 28 October. It covers material from lecture up until Friday 23 October, and anything appearing on Homework 1, 2 or 3. A sample midterm is available. The solutions are here.


The final exam will take place on 21 December 2015. Since this is the first time that Math 308 has been taught covering exactly this material, previous final exams are not a good guide to what will be on this year's final. Here is a list of some sample questions of about the right level for a final exam question. I will add to this list over the next week or two (up until about 11 December). A practice final will be put online later.