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The Seduction of Curves
  • Author Image
    Allan McRobie
  • Publisher Logo
    Princeton University Press

The Seduction of Curves

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Key Metrics

  • Allan McRobie
  • Princeton University Press
  • Hardcover
  • 9780691175331
  • 10.2 X 8.3 X 0.7 inches
  • 1.85 pounds
  • Mathematics > Geometry - General
  • English
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Book Description

A lavishly illustrated book that explores the language of curves that spans the human body, science, engineering, and art

Curves are seductive. These smooth, organic lines and surfaces--like those of the human body--appeal to us in an instinctive, visceral way that straight lines or the perfect shapes of classical geometry never could. In this large-format book, lavishly illustrated in color throughout, Allan McRobie takes the reader on an alluring exploration of the beautiful curves that shape our world--from our bodies to Salvador Dal�'s paintings and the space-time fabric of the universe itself.

The book focuses on seven curves--the fold, cusp, swallowtail, and butterfly, plus the hyperbolic, elliptical, and parabolic umbilics--and describes the surprising origins of their taxonomy in the catastrophe theory of mathematician Ren� Thom. In an accessible discussion illustrated with many photographs of the human nude, McRobie introduces these curves and then describes their role in nature, science, engineering, architecture, art, and other areas. The reader learns how these curves play out in everything from the stability of oil rigs and the study of distant galaxies to rainbows, the patterns of light on pool floors, and even the shape of human genitals. The book also discusses the role of these curves in the work of such artists as David Hockney, Henry Moore, and Anish Kapoor, with particular attention given to the delicate sculptures of Naum Gabo and the final paintings of Dal�, who said that Thom's theory bewitched all of my atoms.

A unique introduction to the language of beautiful curves, this book may change the way you see the world.

The Seduction of Curves

Author Bio

Allan McRobie’s research interests are in structural engineering, with particular focus on complex dynamic load environments such as wind excitation of bridges and crowd loading, together with extreme value theory for rational risk management associated with “high consequence, low probability” events that can lead to structural failure. Allan has further interests in water and sanitation infrastructure, particularly in megacity slums.

 

Research Interests 
 

Bridge Engineering
Structural Computation
Structural Dynamics
Structural Theory
Building Physics
Risk and Assessment
Sustainability
 

Source: University of Cambridge 

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