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ics is important work and it matters not whether it be labeled art or science or doodling. Visual mathematics includes a number of fields. For instance , Moslem artisans and artists worked out in infinite detail the permutations and combinations of tiles that covered a plane, yet even they missed some. Even today discoveries are made, such as those by Roger Penrose and the discovery of fivefold symmetry groups. Today these ideas find root in metallurgy and chemistry. In 1981, Benoit Mandelbrot published a note on fractal mathematics in Leonardo to bring his ideas to the attention of artists [3]. There are now hundreds of artists using techniques that only 10 years ago were new ideas in mathematics. The home computer has made it possible for artists to be state-of-the-art mathematical explorers . Some of the most advanced research in cellular automata, part of which is described in Pickover's book, can be carried out by artists in their own studios. Pickover describes himself this way: "Sometimes I consider myself a fisherman . Computer programs and ideas are the hooks, rods and reels. Computer pictures are the trophies and delicious meals. A fisherman does not always know what the waters will yield; however, a fisherman may know where the fishing is good, where the waters are fertile, what type of bait to use." This book is indeed an angler's guide. The technical level varies from accessibility to the uninitiated to necessity of some mathematical background . As for whether this fishing will be a significant art, this is a larger question not addressed in this book and for which there will be no answer for some time to come, References l. Quoted by A. Hill in A. Hill, Introduction, Visual Arl, Mathnnatics and Computers, F.J.Malina, ed. (Oxford, U.K.: Pergamon Press, 1979) p. xiii. 2, Midori Kitagawa de Leon, Color Plate No. 26 in "Digital Image-Digital Cinema", Siggraph '90 Art Show Catalog, LeonardoSupplementallssue (1990) p. 90. 3. Benoit Mandelbrot, "Scalebound or Scaling Shapes: A Useful Distinction in the Visual Arts and Natural Sciences", Leonardo 14, No. 1(1981) p.45. 94 Current Literature A FuLLER ExPLANATION: THE SYNERGETIC GEOMETRY OF R. BUCKMINSTER FuLLER by Amy C. Edmondson. Design Science Collection. Birkhauser, Boston, MA, U.S.A., 1987.302 pp., $37.50. ISBN: Q-8176-3338-3. BUCKMINSTER FuLLER'S UNIVERSE: AN APPRECIATION by Lloyd Steven Sieden. Plenum Press, New York, NY, U.S.A., 1989, 511 pp., $24.95. ISBN: 0-306-43178-5. Reviewed Uy Istvan Hargiuai, P. O. Box 117, H-1431 Budapest, Hungary. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was an unconventional thinker and practitioner whose best-known creation is his stable lightweight geodesic dome. He was, however, by all accounts, not a great communicator. Even many of those who attended his long lectures and were captivated by his style remained unsure whether they really grasped what he had to say. My first exposure to Fuller was when, a few years ago, I acquired his Synergetics, and somewhat later, Synergetics 2. It is an understatement that they are not easy reading. Buckminster Fuller took a new look at geometry, one that did not follow the school approach and curriculum but was consistent with nature , and applied it, in his words, to elucidate dynamic events of the physical universe, hence his Synergetics. Fuller had many unsuccessful projects before he became truly recognized. But then without even having a formal college degree, he got numerous professorships, academy memberships , made Time magazine's cover and earned Einstein's appreciation, I anticipate that his influence will still grow with increasing recognition of the importance of design sciences. The two books under review set out to bring Buckminster Fuller and his teachings to a broad audience. Edmondson describes her book as an attempt to explain much of synergetics in simple, familiar terms. Sieden characterizes his book as a translation of Fuller's ideas and principles , recovered from the convoluted style of 'Fullerese', into a language that can be understood by almost anyone . Curiously, Edmondson has retained many of Fuller's own descriptions and invented terms as she finds their use justified, These terms and descriptions are indeed grasped more easily in...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
pp. 94-95
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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