Conquest of the Plane

Using The Economics Pack Applications of Mathematica
for a didactic primer on Analytic Geometry and Calculus

ISBN 978-90-804774-6-9

March 2011

EUR 24.95  Ordering

Download the PDF or download the PDF from Zenodo 291972

Reading Notes for COTP 2011+, also at Zenodo 292257   

Download software in The Economics Pack

See supporting analyses at the page of Elegance with Substance

How to support this


Cover text


  1. an integrated course for geometry and analysis
  2. a didactic build-up that avoids traditional clutter
  3. use of only the essentials for good understanding
  4. proper place for vectors, complex numbers, linear algebra and trigonometry
  5. an original and elegant development of trigonometry
  6. an original and elegant foundation for calculus
  7. examples from physics, economics and statistics
  8. integration within the dynamic environment of Mathematica
  9. considered didactic explanation in a 'meta' section.
The book is a primer. A primer is not a textbook but this is a primer in textbook format. The first four parts have been written with students in mind. The fifth meta part explains the didactics to teachers and students in didactics of mathematics. Good teachers will enjoy the innovations. As a textbook it gives a fast track introduction for students at advanced highschool or the first year of college and university and their parents who want to help with homework

For the professions that apply mathematics like physics, engineering, biology, economics and evidence based medicine, the book provides documentation to judge on the proposal to let the national parliaments look into mathematics education, as explained in the book Elegance with Substance by the same author.

Calculus can be developed with algebra and without the use of limits and infinitesimals. Define y / x as the outcome of division and y // x as the procedure of division. Using y // x with x possibly becoming zero will not be paradoxical when the paradoxical part has first been eliminated by algebraic simplification. The Weierstrasz epsilon and delta and its Cauchy shorthand with limits are paradoxical since those exclude the zero values that are precisely the values of interest at the point where the limit is taken. Much of calculus might well do without the limit idea and it could be advantageous to see calculus as part of algebra rather than a separate subject. This is not just a didactic observation but an essential refoundation of calculus.

Didactic issues in trigonometry concern the opaque names of sine and cosine and the cluttering of questions with  or 360 degrees whereas a simple 1 suffices. Basically the plane itself gives that unit of 1, and angles are mere sections. The solution is to use the unit turn or unit of measurement (meter) around (UMA) as the yardstick for angles. This gives the Xur and Yur functions, defined on the circle with unit circumference and generating the {X, Y} co-ordinates on the circle with unit radius. Finally students will understand what Cos and Sin are. The common term 'dimensionless' appears to confuse 'no unit of measurement specified' (with a metric, in planimetry and trigonometry) with 'no dimension' (a pure number, in number theory). The relevant mathematical constant is = 2(capital theta, reminiscent of a circle) rather than  and it comes into use much less when we use UMAs instead of radians. The sine and cosine remain relevant the derivative, and that can also be shown in an elegant manner.

You can benefit from this book also when you don't have the software. However, with the software, you will have an interactive environment in which you can test the propositions in this book and your own deductions. The software is included in The Economics Pack - by the same author - which is an application of Mathematica, a system for doing mathematics with the computer. The Pack has users in many countries in the world. The Pack is available for Windows XP, Macintosh and Unix platforms and requires Mathematica 8.0.1 or later. It can be freely downloaded, but you need a licence to run it.



Back to the home page.

 Neoclassical Mathematics for the Schools (now included in FMNAI)

EMS Review  October 2011           Review by Richard Gill (KNAW, Leiden) January 2012
                                                          (published version NAW, March 2012, without corrections)

Presentation of Workshop D5 of the Dutch Teachers of Mathematics Day, November 9 2013 (English version).
Also available at Zenodo 292931, with spoken discussion at YouTube.

Mathematica and books at Wolfram  

Warning: This book proves radical new ideas and must be read with care. If you spend more than a cursory glance on the PDF then it is advisable to get the hardcopy and continue reading from paper. I tend to focus my research on misconceptions that lead society away from common sense, and then I select pivots that cause crucially different points of view depending on how the argument is resolved. Such a pivot only works well if the argumentation gets proper attention.

2014-06-11: See this summary and paper: Reviewing a scientific book isn't science ?
"Conquest of the Plane" and scientific integrity versus misrepresentation and slander


(1) "Review" van "Conquest of the Plane", Euclides, februari 2012, 87-4, p168-170
(2) Reactie op deze laatste "review", 9 februari 2012
(3) Detailkritiek, 13 februari 2012
(4) Emails van Joop van Dormolen over COTP uit 2012 (conferentie over het Handboek)
(5) Opmerking over David Tall, Nieuw Archief voor Wiskunde, 2012
(6) Christiaan Boudri over COTP, 15 maart 2013. Zie ook de Forum pagina bij de NVvW, 18 maart 2013
(7) Presentatie D5 voor de NVvW Studiedag, 9 november 2013 (of neem de Engelse versie of Zenodo 292931 of op YouTube).
Hier is de NVvW download pagina voor alle workshops.


A. The book and/or software
Type Price Description
The book only
EUR 24.95
One copy of "Conquest of the Plane" (COTP)  Ordering Note: In 2012 the website was relocated. Above PDF has been updated with the name of the present website. Also some minor typos were corrected. The hardcopy print still uses the original PDF.
See The Economics Pack (TEP)
B. Site licences

For site licences, contact the author.