Friday, January 21, 2011

Introducing Fractal Geometry - Review

I'm sick today, down with a nasty cold, and drugged up on cold medicine. So, while the children have been swirling about, working independently at projects, and playing games, I'd love to share with you...but won't today, I've been curled up in a chair, with a hot cup of tea, and Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon's Introducing Fractal Geometry.

It's written at about an 8th grade level, with lots of comic book style pictures, so it's an easy read, even on cold medicine. As the title suggests, it is only an introduction to the subject, it does not attempt to teach the math behind it. I picked it up for my 13 year old, hoping it would spark an interest. But, although it doesn't teach any math, it does mention some higher math terms, and refers, in the first few pages to calculus, trigonometry, and geometry, just enough to scare him away.
The first third of the book follows the path from Euclidean geometry, through the years, up to the discovery of fractals. Then, there is a short biography of Benoit Mandelbrot, the father of fractal geometry. And, the last third of the book, looks at all the ways fractals are being, and might be, used across mathematics, science, and art.

As I said, it is very simply written. A math minded pre-teen could easily enjoy it. And, the author includes a list of further reading suggestions, for those who want more than an introduction to the fascinating field of fractals.
I should add one disclaimer: Lesmoir-Gordon, does not write from a Christian perspective, and evolutionary studies are included in the list of sciences being aided by fractal research. Although, in mentioning the big bang, the author points out several problems with the theory, that scientists are still hoping to solve. So, it is not an offensive reference, even to a creationist reader. But, if your going to hand it over to your children, I thought you should be aware.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Phyllis said...

Hope you feel better very soon!
It sounds like a very interesting book.

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

Ooo... that looks like it's right up my alley. So much art in fractal geometry -- it's fascinating!

Hope you feel better soon and that you can get some rest this weekend! xoxo :-)

Marcee said...

Sorry your not feeling well Leah! We've got one sickie here today too.

Christy said...

I hope you are feeling better. I'm feeling pretty sick myself, but it's not a cold!!!!!!! I haven't been able to find the energy to blog or read blogs.

I am very interested in this for T!