King of Infinite Space: Donald Coxeter, the Man Who Saved Geometry (Google eBook)

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, May 26, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 416 pages
6 Reviews
"There is perhaps no better way to prepare for the scientific breakthroughs of tomorrow than to learn the language of geometry." -Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe

The word "geometry" brings to mind an array of mathematical images: circles, triangles, the Pythagorean Theorem. Yet geometry is so much more than shapes and numbers; indeed, it governs much of our lives-from architecture and microchips to car design, animated movies, the molecules of food, even our own body chemistry. And as Siobhan Roberts elegantly conveys in The King of Infinite Space, there can be no better guide to the majesty of geometry than Donald Coxeter, perhaps the greatest geometer of the twentieth century.

Many of the greatest names in intellectual history-Pythagoras, Plato, Archimedes, Euclid- were geometers, and their creativity and achievements illuminate those of Coxeter, revealing geometry to be a living, ever-evolving endeavor, an intellectual adventure that has always been a building block of civilization. Coxeter's special contributions-his famed Coxeter groups and Coxeter diagrams-have been called by other mathematicians "tools as essential as numbers themselves," but his greatest achievement was to almost single-handedly preserve the tradition of classical geometry when it was under attack in a mathematical era that valued all things austere and rational.

Coxeter also inspired many outside the field of mathematics. Artist M. C. Escher credited Coxeter with triggering his legendary Circle Limit patterns, while futurist/inventor Buckminster Fuller acknowledged that his famed geodesic dome owed much to Coxeter's vision. The King of Infinite Space is an elegant portal into the fascinating, arcane world of geometry.
  

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Review: King of Infinite Space: Donald Coxeter, the Man Who Saved Geometry

User Review  - Exo - Goodreads

Very disappointed! Picked this up on a whim during a library trip. I adored Simon Singh's book, "Fermat's Enigma", and expected this to be similar. However, the writing was poor -- it read more like a ... Read full review

Review: King of Infinite Space: Donald Coxeter, the Man Who Saved Geometry

User Review  - Tom Adams - Goodreads

This book tells the story of an important but largely unknown mathematician. Roberts is a fine writer, and I enjoyed reading her stories about Coxeter: his history, his work, the people he influenced ... Read full review

Contents

CHAPTERI
17
CHAPTER2
37
CHAPTER3
59
PART IlCoxeter Applied 171
71
HAPTER 4
81
CHAPTERIO
94
CHAPTERS
102
CHAPTERS
119
HAPTER 7
139
The Coxeterian Shapes of the Cosmos
230
CHAPTERI3
251
APPENDICES 18 159
289
BIBLIOGRAPHY
363
ART CREDITS
377
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Siobhan Roberts is a journalist, and won a National Magazine Award for her profile of Donald Coxeter in Toronto, and this is her first book.

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