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M. C. Escher: Master of Tessellation

M.C. ESCHER: Art and Science. H.S.M. Coxeter, M. Emmer, R. Penrose and M.L Teuber, eds. Elsevier, New York, 1986. 402 pp. $50. Who has failed to notice that exposition in the mathematical sciences is more pictorial lately? Today, it is not uncommon to find technical mathematics illustrated with drawings. And not just with elaborate symbols which, before the morning coffee, resemble an intimidating jumble. There have even appeared in august mathematical journals whole articles consisting entirel

Ivan Rival
M.C. ESCHER: Art and Science. H.S.M. Coxeter, M. Emmer, R. Penrose and M.L Teuber, eds. Elsevier, New York, 1986. 402 pp. $50.


Who has failed to notice that exposition in the mathematical sciences is more pictorial lately? Today, it is not uncommon to find technical mathematics illustrated with drawings. And not just with elaborate symbols which, before the morning coffee, resemble an intimidating jumble. There have even appeared in august mathematical journals whole articles consisting entirely of pictures—the conventional, written exposition would require many more pages and make for duller reading. The pictures often tell all.

Let there be no mistake about it. Many of the pictures that now routinely appear in print are no more than pictorial aids to reasoning, graphical sketches intended to suggest or persuade rather than convince.

This is a far cry from the prevailing orthodoxy of only a few decades ago. It has always...

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