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Introducing Fractals: A Graphic Guide Paperback – October 15, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1848310872 ISBN-10: 1848310870 Edition: Revised edition

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Product Details

  • Series: Introducing
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books; Revised edition edition (October 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848310870
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848310872
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon is a producer of television documentaries. Will Rood studied mathematics at Cambridge University. His fractal animations have graced many television documentaries and his artwork has featured on numerous magazines, posters and CD sleeves. Ralph Edney trained as a mathematician, and has worked as a teacher, journalist, illustrator and political cartoonist.

More About the Author

I came into this world in the midst of the Second World War, appearing among the soaring academic towers of Cambridge - the last outpost of civilisation before the black-soiled, windswept fens ran their endless way up to Kings Lynn and The Wash. I grew up in the austere and reactionary spirit of post-war southern England. People felt lucky to be alive. So many had died. There were shortages. Most of our ships had been sunk and we lived under the heavy-hanging threat of nuclear annihilation. By the time I had made it to my teens Cambridge had blossomed and become prosperous and I grew up in a privileged world. I was 13 when he went off to board at Oundle School and Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel burst incandescently upon the world. I began writing at Oundle and published poems and short stories in the UK, the USA and in France. I toured the UK performing with his poetry & jazz group.
My interest in film took me to the London School of Film Technique in 1965. When I left Cambridge to go to film school I moved into a flat in Cromwell Road, South Kensington - the infamous '101'. When David Gale wrote about 101 in The Independent he recalled:
"As the 60s began to generate heat, I found myself running with a fast crowd. I had moved into a flat near the Royal College of Art. I shared the flat with some close friends from Cambridge, including Syd Barrett, who was busy becoming a rock star with Pink Floyd. A few hundred yards down the street at 101 Cromwell Road, our preternaturally cool friend Nigel was running the hipster equivalent of an arty salon. Between our place and his, there passed the cream of London alternative society - poets, painters, film-makers, charlatans, activists, bores and self-styled visionaries. It was a good time for name-dropping: how could I forget the time at Nigel's when I came across Allen Ginsberg asleep on a divan with a tiny white kitten on his bare chest? And wasn't that Mick Jagger visible through the fumes? Look, there's Nigel's postcard from William Burroughs, who looks forward to meeting him when next he visits London!"
During a weekend spent in Cambridge with old friends as part of my experimental work at film school I shot the now cult-movie classic Syd Barrett's First Trip. When I joined the industry as an editor I worked for Hugh Hudson, director of Chariots of Fire, on TV commercials and documentaries. The film Performance was produced from the Chelsea studios where I worked. In 1968 I was commissioned by Mick Jagger to co-write a screenplay with Christopher Gibbs (the set designer on Performance) called The Quest. Marianne Faithfull writes about this project in her biography Faithfull. Mick, Keith and Marianne were already cast and keen to make it. The script we wrote drew on Arthurian legend, Celtic mythology and romantic poetry. Donovan had been writing music for the film and was disappointed when the project stalled due to other Rolling Stones commitments. To make up for this he suggested that I produce and direct a film of him making music sailing through the islands of the Aegean Sea with a small acoustic band. The band was called Open Road and the completed 30-minute film was There is an Ocean.

I then moved to the BBC as an editor, cutting dramas and documentaries for two years. I went on to work with Pink Floyd, 10cc, Squeeze, Rainbow, Joe Cocker, Big Country, Wings, Paul Nicholas and Leo Sayer amongst others in the 70's. I concentrated on commercials and corporate videos throughout the 80s. I wrote and directed Regiment a documentary about the Royal Air Force's Infantry Regiment before I made the award-winning television documentary The Colours of Infinity, presented by Sir Arthur C. Clarke with music by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd in 1993. Colours has been broadcast thus far in over fifty territories. It brought the Mandelbrot set and the subject of fractals to the attention of the general public for the first time.
Following The Colours of Infinity I wrote, produced and directed two broadcast documentaries: Is God a Number? This film explores the mystery of consciousness and the power of mathematics in describing the universe. And Clouds Are Not Spheres - the life and work of the maverick mathematician, Benoit Mandelbrot. I then made the feature film Remember a Day and recently completed Mandelbrot's World of Fractals, which I directed and presented for the National Science Foundation through Yale University.
I wrote, produced and directed he acclaimed short comedy The Mysterious Michael A in 2005: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXoJhfWcRzQ. This film has been featured at 18 film festivals and at over a dozen film clubs worldwide. I directed the documentary Brixton Beach in 2007 and a compilation of three of my science documentaries, featuring a fractal chill-out film with David Gilmour's music, was released on DVD in the same year.
My first book, Introducing Fractals was published by Icon in 2009. It traces the roots of fractal geometry and looks at the developments springing from this revolutionary new discipline from Zeno to calculus, through set theory and the maverick mathematicians who set the stage for the genius of fractal geometry, Benoit Mandelbrot. Text and graphics combine to offer the most accessible account of fractal geometry that any reader is likely to find. To quote J.A. Wheeler, protege of Niels Bohr and friend of Albert Einstein, 'No one will be considered scientifically literate tomorrow, who is not familiar with fractals.' This book is the ideal guide to that literacy. It is available in four languages and has sold over 16,000 copies.
My second book based on The Colours of Infinity was published by Springer in 2010. This book is based on the film of the same name. The contributors to the film are joined in this comprehensive survey of the fractal theory and practice by some other leading experts in the field. The book features contributions from Arthur C. Clarke, Professor Benoit Mandelbrot, Professor Michael Barnsley, Gary Flake, David Pennock, Will Rood, Professor Ian Stewart and me. The book includes an online link to the film.
In the same year I was interviewed on Conscious TV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZjx-Ix9DVA.
Following the sad death of Benoit Mandelbrot, I was invited to write obituaries for The Guardian, The Independent and The Times. I also appeared on BBC Radio 4's Last Word, discussing Mandelbrot's life and work with Professor Ian Stewart of Warwick University.
Nothing and Everywhere is my first novel. Since the publication of this novel several people have expressed the view that it would make a good film and would translate very well to the big (or even the small) screen so I am now working on a screenplay version of the book. I have also started to write my second novel, Life is Just... This is not the often requested sequel to Nothing and Everywhere, but something very different indeed.

Customer Reviews

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I recommend as an initial guide into fractals.
Adriana Rivera
Even though I now understand most of the concepts, it is great if I want to quickly refresh my understanding of a concept.
JB Mahlon
It really did feel like an introduction with ideas about all kinds of things to look at about fractals.
Susan K. Gushue

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By JB Mahlon on February 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book! For an artist and non-mathematician who is intensely interested in fractals, it is indispensable. It is clear, easy to refer to and portable. The graphics are simple, charming and humorous. Even though I now understand most of the concepts, it is great if I want to quickly refresh my understanding of a concept.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Brian Horblit on December 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Introducing Fractals - A Graphic Guide is quite well done. To truly understand fractals, however, takes quite a bit of mathematical background. The authors do an excellent job of trying to ease the reader into the required math, but the average reader without much higher math background likely will not really understand some of the material. I have an extensive background in math (though not exercised much in the last 20 years), and I still felt a tad frustrated that I was not sure I really "got it" for some of the concepts. Do I *really* understand what an attractor or repellor is? Or their significance? I think so - but do I?

So if you want to understand the basic ideas behind fractals, and their significance, this is a decent intro. If you are looking for a quick, easy read, that won't require much thinking to get through, this might not be it. The nature of the material might make finding such a book a tall order.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Susan K. Gushue on April 30, 2011
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This is definitely a series I will go back to for introductions to other topics. The presentation was great. The graphics were well done. It really did feel like an introduction with ideas about all kinds of things to look at about fractals. I think it would be especially useful in a high school classroom library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Golding on May 17, 2013
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If you are looking for a fun but also rather concise way to enter the world-less world of fractals, then you cannot beat this little treasure. I've been dealing with fractals for years and I have to say, this really will help those from pre-school --> PHD+ level (well, this may be a 'slight' exaggeration for the pre-schoolers!) Go for it.
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this little handbook provides lots of neat line diagrams about fractals ansd is a good supplement to other reading - worth its weight
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Enjoyed the material quite a bit. Not used to graphic book format, but did enjoy that. Don't know why I was surprised by its size, probably didn't read that in description! Font a bit small, of course. Worthwhile intro!
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If you want to explain to your child's maths tutor why you are exited about fractals this is the book for you. If your curiosity about fratals extends beyond basic concepts, look for something more in depth.
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Format: Paperback
Uneven coverage, needed more amplification up front, but still a very good book. I liked the drawings, however they could have been related to the text flow better. The uses of fractals in the latter half or so was very useful.
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