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Hardcover Computers and the Imagination : Visual Adventures Beyond the Edge Book

ISBN: 0312061315

ISBN13: 9780312061319

Computers and the Imagination : Visual Adventures Beyond the Edge

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good*

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Customer Reviews

3 ratings

"Mathematics, CGI, Biology & Art - A Tryst with Pickover"

"Computers and the Imagination," Clifford A. Pickover, NY, St. Martin's Press, 1991 ISBN 0-312-06131-5, HC 424 pg., includes 5 pg. Preface, 7 pg. Index, 4 pg. Glossary, 10 pg. Biblio., & 40 pg. Appendices. 9 1/2" x 6 1/4" This unabashed, seasoned author's enticing colorful cover created by CGI promises to reveal fractals, B. Mandelbrot & (Gaston) Julia sets, a grueling exegesis on computerization & poetry, gene sequencing, visualization of (more-or-less) complex equations including continued (nesting) roots, chaos theory, Lissajous figures, the Gleichniszahlen-Reihe Monster, palindromes, Connell sequences (far out), Lute of Pythagorus, etc. Author's message: facilitate & promote readers to conceptualize mathematical transmogrifications. There is a certain beauty to this madness. So, what's the book really about? It explores potential & predicted changes made possible by present-day computer technology in all spheres of our life: manufacturing, robotics, communications, arts & sciences, war & speculations on just about everything. Of great interest to me were the many amusing highly-detailed cartoon drawings accompanying every chapter and tongue-in-cheek whimsical stories --especially "The Twenty-Fourth Annual Meeting Of the Chaos Society." Pickover provides the reader with many challenging puzzles & problems to solve. The book has been edited & assembled with profound attention to minute details to provide & provoke interest even to those readers without strong background in mathematics. The author is reminiscent (to me) of MARTIN GARDNER (Scientic American) who appropriately provided a positive introductory review for this book. If you are uncomfortable with numbers, take a pass & try Pickover's rambling "Sex, Drugs, Einstein, & Elves" (2005).

Excellent, Broad Look at Computer Science

This is certainly the best book I have ever seen on computer science and all its applications in math, science, and just about everything!Clifford A. Pickover starts with a few chapters on the Top 10 Scientists and what would happen if an IBM computer was placed in the year 1900. He then goes on to talk about the applications of computer science on almost every science, with a few pages on every subject. His book is 63 chapters long - among them: "The World of Chaos," "Twisted Mirror Worlds," "The Moire Effect: Practical and Pictorial Patterns," and "Visualization of the Gleichniszahlen-Reihe Monster."The book is well-organized into 10 Parts, and each chapter within itself contains an introduction, description, and even exercises for the reader. Overall, the book is fun to flip through, and on lonely Tuesday evenings, it's great just to open the book to a random page and read.


With all of the glowing reviews already linked to, there's not much more for me to add beyond, "Wow!" One of my friends turned me on to this book and loaned me his copy, and I'm really glad he did. This is a book for every computer scientist who wants to enhance his/her creativity. Every page is packed with ideas for using the computer to visualize the world of mathematics, and lovingly illustrated with great pictures to show you that each equation is not just a dry, boring, thing, but a gateway into a new (2-, 3-, or N-dimensional!) universe. This isn't a book to teach programming, so you'll have to go elsewhere for that, but if you already have a basic understanding of your favorite programming language, and know how to draw graphics to the screen, this book will provide many, many ideas, for that critical point when you stop and wonder, "what can I do next?" Highly recommended!
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