The works of Jakob Steiner (1796-1863), a Swiss mathematician, and Vincenzo Viviani
(1622-1703), an Italian mathematician, come into play in this episode. Charlie looks for paths that a poisoner might take in the San Gabriel Mountains. He knows that there are three places where the criminal has been several times. So, he looks for a single site that is the shortest combined distance to the three places. He expects a hideout located at that site or somewhere very near it.
Before the Activity
Download the attached PDF and look over the Teacher page.
During the Activity
Discuss the materials from the Student Page with your class.
After the Activity
Encourage students to explore web sites and questions from the Extensions page.