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Pasta by Design Hardcover – Illustrated, September 19, 2011
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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“For each [type of pasta], the book provides a mathematical equation, a mouth-watering picture and a paragraph of suggestions, like sauces to eat it with.”
- New York Times
“The book classifies 92 kinds of pasta, organizing them into an evolutionlike family tree.”
- New York Times
“On first glance, this design-based typology of pasta appears to be a mathematically inclined reference that makes an ideal gift at holiday time. Look a little deeper, however, and you’ll find an amazing cookbook.”
“Culinary advice on cooking these forms accompany an artistic presentation suitable for arts and culinary holdings alike.”
- The Midwest Book Review
About the Author
George L. Legendre is principal of IJP Architects in London and a leading specialist in complex surfaces.
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This book does that, but I took a further step and put the equations into a programming language called Mathematica; which allows me to show "3D" graphics of the pasta shape on a computer screen based on the equations. I can spin the shape around and replace values in the equation to show how the shape changes. When I show this to young children, they all say, "Wow, lemme do that!".
This is the kind of book that can change a child's life. For adults not particularly interested in math or pasta, the book has a nice graphic design for presenting technical information which I have shamelessly stolen to boost my consulting rate.
Since there's no "look inside" for it, let me describe what it looks like: it's a very complete list of pasta shapes, each taking two pages. One has a nice picture; the other contains a very short description (~25 words, maybe saying where it's most popular or what kind of sauces go well with it), parametric equations to describe its shape, and a 3D wireframe-ish figure. It also has an interesting "pasta map". So, if you're looking for a quirky book on pasta for a mathematically minded person, this might be the perfect one. But don't expect any recipe here!
This is not a book to get if you are looking for in-depth histories or math. Like I said before, it's just a fun novelty for when you're bored.
Most recent customer reviews
Warning -- It does take some knowledge of mathematics to appreciate the equations.