Andrew Glassner's Notebook is a compilation of lively and brain-tickling columns from the bimonthly magazine IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications, some of which are published here in their entirety for the first time. Going beyond mere "fun with computer graphics," topics include problems in mathematics, physics, astronomy, and even industrial design.
The articles are organized chronologically, and some of the best subjects get revisited at a later date. For example, in "Origami Polyhedra," Glassner shows how to build everything from tetrahedra to icosadodecahedra using unit origami and colored paper, and explains it clearly enough that a child could follow. In a later column, he revisits the theme, this time showing how to build polyhedra from net diagrams. One early column discusses frieze groups and their relation to basic group theory, while a later chapter delves into the tangential topic of aperiodic tiling. Still another column deals with the challenge of creating alphanumeric displays on LCD, LED, and other light-emitting panels (the theory behind the ability to spell words upside down on a calculator, e.g., 07734).
The book is attractively designed with an abundance of illustrations that are colorfully visual and as elegant as they are entrancing. Patterns of all kinds in science are intriguing, and this is proven many times over. There is substantial serious mathematics here also: the expert will find the articles enhanced by it, but nonexperts can bypass it without missing any of the fun.
This notebook will appeal to mathematicians, graphic artists, and any open-minded, curious thinker, even the scientifically inclined junior high schooler. It is the sort of book that could fill scientists with new enthusiasm or inspire nonscientists to reconsider why they didn't like science in the first place. --Angelynn Grant
Topics covered: Solar halos and sun dogs, frieze groups and aperiodic tiling, origami and net diagrams for polyhedra, box folding, taxicab geometry, shading algorithms, alphanumeric electronic displays, polygon approximations and the Schwartz paradox, moiré patterns, mirror reflections and billiard balls, Ptolemy's Theorem, Napoleon's Theorem, and Fourier transformations. [via]