Title 
On finding the shortest distance of a point from a line:
Which method do you prefer?

Author/s 
Bhalchandra Gore
Centre for Modeling and Simulation, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune 411 007 India

Abstract 
The formula for the shortest distance of a point from a line can be derived in several
different ways. Some typical methods are taught at the elementary (i.e., highschool and
junior college) level. However, solving such "schoolbook" problems using the advanced
mathematical methods is often overlooked and neglected. This article illustrates how this
formula can be derived in various ways. Such a comparison will not only encourage the
reader to explore and understand how and why do mathematical techniques work, but it
will also help understand a common thread between different branches of mathematics. This
exercise also shows that "the best way" to solve a mathematical problem is a misnomer.

Keywords 
Mathematics pedagogy, shortest distance, mathematical methods, optimization, Lagrange multiplier

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Citing This Document 
Bhalchandra Gore
,
On finding the shortest distance of a point from a line:
Which method do you prefer?
.
Outreach Document
CMSOD20161102
of the Centre for Modeling and Simulation,
Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune 411007, India (2016);
available at http://cms.unipune.ernet.in/reports/.

Notes, Published Reference, Etc. 
Accepted for publication in the Resonance magazine

Contact 
bwgore AT cms.unipune.ernet.in

Supplementary Material 
