Short works

Books : reviews

Clifford A. Pickover.
Computers, Pattern, Chaos and Beauty.
Alan Sutton. 1990

rating : 3.5 : worth reading

Clifford A. Pickover.
Computers and the Imagination.
Alan Sutton. 1991

rating : 5 : waste of time
review : 11 June 1998

This book is an unfortunate mishmash of underdeveloped ideas. Each 'chapter', a reprint from a column, is a mere three or four pages long, barely space to describe the theme, sketch some simple developments, then list a few references.

The themes range broadly: fractals and chaos, number theory, computer developments, with observations ranging from deep puzzles to trivial surface patterns (for example, I fail to have any deep interest in properties of numbers that hold only in base 10).

Some topics can be done justice in this limited space -- I liked the use of Moiré patterns to detect loose screws, for example. But most of the topics would benefit from more background, and deeper exploration.

A disappointing sequel.

Clifford A. Pickover.
Keys to Infinity.
John Wiley. 1995

Clifford A. Pickover.
Surfing Through Hyperspace: understanding higher universes in six easy lessons.
OUP. 1999