## Monday, August 29, 2016

### Mathcounts Strategy: Shoestring (or Shoelace) method of finding the area of any polygon

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Shoelace formula from Wikipedia

More on Shoelace

Problems: Solutions below

#1:  Find the area of a quadrilateral polygon given the four end points (3, 5), (11, 4), (7,0) and (9,8) in a Cartesian plane.

#2 2007 Chapter Target Round: A quadrilateral in the plane has vertices at (1,3),  (1,1), (2, 1) and (2006, 2007). What is the area of the quadrilateral?

#3: Find the area of a polygon with coordinates (1, 1), (3, -1),  ( 4, 4), and  (0.3)

#4: What is the number of square units in the area of the pentagon whose vertices are
(1, 1 ), ( 3, -1),  (6, 2), (5, 6), and (2, 5)?

#5: Find the area of a polygon with coordinates ( -6, 0), (0, 5), (3, -2), and (4, 7)

#6: Find the area of a polygon with coordinates (20, 0), (0, 12), (3, 0), (4, -4)

#7: Find the area of a polygon with coordinates (-8, 4), (2, 12), (3, -5), (4, -4)

#8: Find the area of a triangle with coordinate (-8, -4), (-3, 10), (5, 6)

Solution I: Draw a rectangle and use the area of the rectangle minus the four triangles to get the area of the quadrilateral polygon.

Solution II: Using shoestring method. First, plug in the four points. Second, choose one starting point and list the other points in order (either clockwise or counterclockwise)  and at the end, repeat the starting point. The answer is 33 square units.

Use this link to practice finding the area of any irregular polygon. Keep in mind that a lot of the times you don't need to use shoestring method. Be flexible!! Scroll to the middle section.

#2 Answer: 3008 square units

#3: Answer: 10.5 square units

#4: Answer: 22 square units

#5: Answer: 45.5 square units

#6: Answer: 136 square units

#7: Answer: 98 square units

#8: Answer: 66 square units