Centre for Modeling and Simulation
Savitribai Phule Pune University All Models Are False, Some Are Useful

Outreach Document CMS-OD-20161102


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., high-school and junior college) level. However, solving such "school-book" 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 CMS-OD-20161102 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. Published as Resonance 22(7), 705–714, July 2017.
Contact bwgore AT cms.unipune.ernet.in
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