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Turtle Geometry: The Computer as a Medium for Exploring Mathematics (Artificial Intelligence) Paperback – July 9, 1986

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A college-level math text for serious mathematicians and fans of recreational mathematics. This book proves that turtle graphics is not just kid stuff." Popular Computing



"Reading this book with the help of a good graphics computer system, you are sure to discover new and interesting math... an excellent textbook or self-study guide." W. Lloyd Milligan , Byte

About the Author

Hal Abelson is Class of 1922 Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a fellow of the IEEE. He is a founding director of Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, and the Free Software Foundation. Additionally, he serves as co-chair for the MIT Council on Educational Technology.

Andrea diSessa is Chancellor's Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, and a member of the National Academy of Education. He is the coauthor of Turtle Geometry: The Computer as a Medium for Exploring Mathematics (MIT Press, 1981).
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Product Details

  • Series: Artificial Intelligence Series
  • Paperback: 497 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; Reprint edition (July 9, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262510375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262510370
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,161,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I discovered this little gem of a book while exploring the stacks in the library when I was attending a local junior college back in the 80's. The author uses Logo's turtle graphics as a way of exploring the properties of geometric space. From very simple beginnings drawing regular polygons and other simple shapes, the book gradually works its way to more and more complicated scenarios. After exploring the properties of ordinary turtle graphics, turtle graphics are tried on the surfaces of spheres and cubes, then on more complicated surfaces. Little by little, concepts of non-Euclidean geometry are introduced, until the final chapters in which the turtle is used to demonstrate the geometric nature of gravity in Einstein's general theory of relativity.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone with interests in computer programming, geometry and physics. The unusual approach this book takes to the understanding of curved space is deceptively simple and surprisingly powerful.
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Format: Paperback
Turtle Geometry teaches mathematics and physics via the computer and the Logo programming language. The mathematics covered is pretty advanced, including topology, and general relativity. Yet, through the use of turtle geometry this advanced math and physics becomes accessible to the layperson. Although all of the examples are in the Logo programming language there are listings of Basic routines in the back of the book. With the help of the Basic routines I was able to easily translate the Logo/Basic code to the Python programming language which I choose to use for reading this book. The reviewers of this book mention it as the beginnning of a revolution in mathematics education. It seems though, that this revolution did not come about as computers are still not used very effectively in the classroom. I think this is very sad as the teaching approach used in Turtle Geometry could be very successful in the classroom.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in logo from beginners to advanced users
will benefit from reading this book. It has very easy and
simple to understand examples, along with a review, and
questions at the end of every chapter. Some solutions are
provided at the end of the book, (and their even correct, as
opposed to many other text books I've read). The pace of
the book gets gradually more difficulst, yet more interesting
as you reach the climax at the end. A must read for anyone
interested in Mathematics.
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Format: Paperback
I began working with this book in 1981 at the age of 15, using a Logo disk for the Apple II given to me by my sister's friend who worked in the MIT AI lab. It is a gem of a book. The mathematical subjects are explained in a clear, easy, and entertaining way. I loved it at the time. No one told me to read it or to create the programs in the book. I did it out of curiosity inspired by the many interesting topics. Along the way I got a good foundation in vector algebra, 2d and 3d geometry, programming, and other things, all without effort.

It is good for children or young adults who may later work in physics or vector graphics. I wish it was updated to use a modern language or a modern version of Logo. There is no other book that collects such a mixture of different subjects together. I still open the book to remember basic concepts and just for the joy of reading it again.

As an adult I created several different 2d vector graphics systems for other programmers to use. I credit this book for my interest in that area.
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Format: Paperback
Just an all around great book; interesting way to explore geometry, in a format that's easily understandable for both beginning & advanced students.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everything you always wanted to know about Turtle Graphics. More, actually, than you thought there was to know. Sample code for algorithms. Also a section on implementing Turtle Graphics in other computer languages with source code.
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