James Madison University
Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects
Three-Point Problem by Simultaneous Linear Equations part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students are introduced to the use of linear algebra in an intuitive and accessible way, through classroom activity and homework set. The familiar three-point problem is cast in terms of three dimensional analytic geometry, fostering understanding of mathematical models for simple geometric forms. The suitability of a planar representation of geological features such as sedimentary horizons or fault surfaces is discussed in class. Preparatory to developing a useful algorithm, a system of equations is developed, put into matrix form (which most have seen before, but never applied), and solved for slopes and intercept. Finally, the slopes are resolved into geologically familiar strike and dip form.