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Geodesic Math and How to Use It Paperback – October 20, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hugh Kenner (1923-2003) was Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Georgia. He is the author of dozens of well-known and highly regarded books of literary criticism, and is also the author of Bucky: A Guided Tour of Buckminster Fuller (1973).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 183 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 2 edition (October 20, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520239318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520239319
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.5 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Plokiju on May 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Hugh Kenner's book is the bible of geodesy. While other books provide you with tables and some of the rudiments of the theory of geodesic domes, 'Geodesic Math and How to Use it' gives you a first-principle look at how domes are developed from a mathematical/geometrical point of view. Most importantly, Kenner introduces the reader to a novel metric for both describing the location of geodesic points in space and calculating their exact positions, so you can develop your own chord factors rather than relying on tables without understanding the underlying math.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Raymond F. Lynch on September 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
Seemed over-technical at 1st, but after about a year has been my reference book on geodesics & making all kinds of geodesic domes... It lists chord factors (lengths of segments before applying radius of dome) on tables to 7 decimals for various domes @ the end of the book if you don't want do calculate w/formulas provided. If your familiar with trigonometry, it will let you jump around chapters that are of more interest.

This book was originally copyrighted in 1976, but not edited for this 2nd paperback 2003 Edition (glossy color cover). The author, Hugh Kenner (1923-2003), has compiled a very thorough book. Very well written & explained in orderly fashion with excellent general layout & (especially for the time) detailed diagrams plus cross page-references. IMO there is very little that I would change except for replacing current diagrams with modern CAD generated illustrations, that's about it.

Has 172 pages with several blank pages for notes (I note in the wide margins instead) & is 8.7 x 8.7 x 0.5 inches. Not a small book but not a big bulky one either. Makes for a lot of information handy to store just about anywhere...
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I found many formulas & shortcuts throughout the book. From Chapter 12 I plotted a 16 frequency (# of divisions making total # of triangles) icosahedron (the typical geodesic polyhedron shape) dome with 3880 chords or "struts". Even made them into arcs for a perfectly round sphere. Chapter 12 has "Using the Tables" with a simple symmetric triangle xyz-grid on a spreadsheet. Each chord calculated does not rely on another chord's result, so chance of error is greatly reduced.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Rich Tabor on September 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have been researching geodesics for a while and have found this book valuable in understanding the subject, however, I would suggest downloading some of the NASA tech briefs about geodesic math (and its free) before spending this amount of money on a book. There are several online sources of info to help the novice.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Aventine Xavier on November 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
To paraphrase Barbara Mandrell, geodesic domes were green when green wasn't cool. I read this book in college and was sorely tempted to steal it out of the university library because it had gone out of print and was just not available new or used anywhere else. I kicked myself later for not yielding to temptation when I went to check it out again and realized that someone else stole it before me! Seriously, give Kenner his rightful due, this is a classic in its field. What is my test for saying so? It has been thirty years since the book's first printing and has yet to see its equal. And there have been many many contenders. I could not recommend any one book higher for hobbyist or even professional reference to geodesic calculation and the practical design of geodesic domes. Though Hugh is no longer with us, five years gone as I am writing this, but the effects of his powerful intellect live on and continue to infect others with his inquisitive spirit by way of such seminal work.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tony C on April 3, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't like to spend money on information that I can get for free. I found plenty of free information about geodesics on the web, but not enough.

I'm glad I spent the cash. This book filled in all the gaps.

It is not for people with weak math skills.

The book seems confusing at first, but if you keep reading and studying you will be rewarded with a deeper understanding of geodesics than you can imagine.

This book is a "must have" for anyone who wants to build their own dome, or just learn more about geodesics.

And yes, it's worth learning the math skills to understand this book.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By JJ on April 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
Well, the time has come for the pirates to take a hike. UC Press is reprinting this book. The information I have indicates both hard and softcover bindings...It will be available this year (2003).
Geodesic Math and How To Use It is an extremely well written book, and with the NASA papers, forms the "canon of applied geodesic math." It is a great book, well written and useful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Adams on September 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking for a source of chord lengths for various frequency geodesic domes. This book does this in spades. With all of the variations covered the book may be too involved for what I need. It reads like a textbook and does cover the subject well, from what I've read so far. If you have a question concerning geodesics it will be found in this book. Illustrating is also done well. As a source book it is excellant, if not a bit difficult to read.
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