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African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design Paperback – March 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0813526140 ISBN-10: 0813526140 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press; 3rd edition (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813526140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813526140
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #643,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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This book is on the appearance of patterns in African culture, which resemble fractals.
Joanie
I also recommend this book to educators looking for a way to get their students, regardless of their background, to be more interested in mathematics.
Patrick Regan
I had read the book the winter break before taking the course and had no difficulty understanding the material even as a freshman.
Lorne E. Nix

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Regan VINE VOICE on June 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book starts out with a presentation of fractal geometry which is very comprehensible and enjoyable. Next it covers specific aspects of fractal geometry and their relation to African society, architecture, fashion, art, divination and games. This part of the book is very fascinating. I learned a lot about how recursion works and how it is used in African buildings and fashions in the chapter on recursion. Other chapters in this section are Geometric algorithms, Scaling, Numeric systems, Infinity and Complexity. They are all very interesting. The final section is on the implications of the fact that Africans used this kind of mathematics. The author emphasizes the application of African fractal geometry to education especially the education of African Americans who sometimes feel alienated from math classes which focus on the achievements of European peoples. One thing that the author stresses is that the fractal designs of, say city planning, made by African peoples are not more "natural" than the Western approach of dividing cities into rectangles. He says this assumption dovetails into a preconception of African societies as being somehow closer to nature and therefore unsophisticated. The author points out that fractal mathematics is hardly simple and also not easily intuited either. I did not find myself making this assumption but apparently some people do fall into this trap. Anyway, I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting an introduction, with applications, to fractal geometry and its use in African societies. I also recommend this book to educators looking for a way to get their students, regardless of their background, to be more interested in mathematics.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lorne E. Nix on June 14, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had Ron Eglash as a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Discussing and analyzing aspects of this book, including self-organization in general, was very interesting and valuable to say the least. The book makes no assumptions in knowledge and will cleanly bring in the topic of fractals in african culture. I had read the book the winter break before taking the course and had no difficulty understanding the material even as a freshman. The concept is quite intriguing and shatters many of the held perceptions of "the hierarchy of mathematics." Ron Eglash is a great man and I know he loves talking with people that share similar interests in mathematics or cybernetics.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a brilliant book. As an Architect, I was truly enlightened by the idea of the 'other' culture(s), having a valid scientific basis in fact. I was always told in Architectural school that the 'Africans',(including those in the diaspora) were a peoples without and writing systems, technological background and no culture. I'm glad to see evidence that this is not the truth. I thank the author for his contribution.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful By The African Institution on June 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Ron Eglash's brilliant work on Afrikan fractals helps to shatter long-held myths and misconceptions about Afrikans, the most pervasive and pernicious of which is the notion of Afrikans (both on the Motherland and in the Diaspora) as inactive agents in history. This work motivated me to complete mine on chaos theory and Afrikan fractals. My longer reviews of Eglash's book appear in the Nexus Network Journal (vol. 2, 2000:165-168) and the Journal of Third World Studies (vol. xviii, no. 1, 2001:237-239), each reflecting the publication's genre and disciplinary focus. Dr. Abdul Karim Bangura is a researcher-in-residence at the Center for Global Peace and a professor of International Relations in the School of International Service at American University, and the director of The African Institution in Washington, DC. He is the author of 21 books and more than 200 scholarly articles.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a brilliant book. As an Architect, I was truly enlightened by the idea of the 'other' culture(s), having a valid scientific basis in fact. I was always told in Architectural school that the 'Africans',(including those in the diaspora) were a peoples without and writing systems, technological background and no culture. I'm glad to see evidence that this is not the truth. I thank the author for his contribution.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cush the First on June 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing book! It clearly shows how many of the common things that people of African descent do have may scientific connections. Hair styles that are worn today by people of African descent, have been worn as far back to the ancient indigenous Africans known as the ancient Egyptians. So it really no surprise that there is mathematical and scientific knowledge being found today by scientist and scholars.
This book should be in every school and home in this country. I take that back, this book should be in every school globally.
Another scientific book that would make a great set for any school or home is, The African Unconscious. Written by Edward Bruce Bynum. You can find it here on Amazon.com.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul Stallan on August 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A truly insightful study of the shared qualities evident in African art. Whether a scholar, student or just curious this is a great book. Watch the Ron Eglash TED lecture first.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joanie on February 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is on the appearance of patterns in African culture, which resemble fractals. It is thorough. I heard about this from a Dan Winters lecture. I wish the author would look at other cultures, to do the same thing.
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