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Are there good examples of math textbooks that seamlessly combines art, cartoon drawing or computer graphics with the texts? I know that there are a few books on the market, which are not text-book per se, that are geared towards general audience, where there are plenty of artistic figures naturally generated by the phenomena under study, usually things of geometric nature, Escher tiling, or things like chaos.

Wolfram's a New Kind of Science comes to mind. What are some other examples of "visually beautifu" or "artistic" math textbooks or texts.

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    $\begingroup$ Anything about fractals. $\endgroup$
    – user838035
    Dec 1 '20 at 8:31
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    $\begingroup$ Nice books about fractals and geometry. $\endgroup$ Dec 1 '20 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ Mathographics by Robert Dixon $\endgroup$ Dec 1 '20 at 9:08
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Here's a very old suggestion: Euclid's Elements. Specifically, Oliver Byrne's 1847 rendition of the text with its elegant diagrams and design aesthetic, and Nicholas Rougeux's online conversion of the text into a digital edition, available for free here.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ That is the most ridiculous "s" I've ever seen. $\endgroup$
    – user838035
    Dec 1 '20 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ It was in vogue in Byrne’s time, I believe; I do wish the creator of the digital version had allowed a setting to turn it off, though. $\endgroup$ Dec 1 '20 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ @SenZen: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_s Many old documents including the Bill of Rights contain that. I for my part am happy that the usage of long vs. short s in this rendition seems correct. $\endgroup$ Dec 1 '20 at 18:42
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  • A Topological Picturebook by George K. Francis

    is full of enlightening pictures of topological structures. Many of them are little masterpieces of drawing art and support this way a better understanding of the theme.

Sometimes it might also be interesting to see behind the curtain.

In A mathematical typography a grandmaster shares with us some ideas about this subject. Here we can get a glimpse about the extraordinary creativity and the deep knowledge which is necessary to produce aesthetically pleasing mathematical texts and pictures.

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The book of Douglas Hofstadter, ''Gödel, Escher, Bach - an eternal golden braid'', is an excellent example how lively mathematics can be. The pics of Escher are impressive.

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A good example is, in my opinion, Islamic Geometric Patterns by Jay Bonner.

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Homotopical Topology by A. Fomenko and D. Fuchs.

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Visual Complex Analysis by Tristan Needham

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How about Conway, Burgiel, and Goodman-Strauss's "The Symmetries of Things"?

It's broadly about group theory, but it takes the most stunning visual approach I've ever seen. It has lots of full page illustrations, and basically every page has a margin full of pretty pictures related to the current topic. Here's some examples:

a page from the book

another page

yet another page

And one more to show that this style goes all the way through the book:

one more page

It's a really breathtaking book, and the exposition is similarly well done. I'm excited to be able to share it!


I hope this helps ^_^

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Fractals everywhere by Michael Barnsley

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