The Algorithmic Beauty of Sea Shells

The Algorithmic Beauty of Sea Shells

Mixed media product Virtual Laboratory

By (author) Hans Meinhardt, Illustrated by Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz, Illustrated by D.R. Fowler

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Paperback $67.43
  • Publisher: Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. K
  • Format: Mixed media product | 247 pages
  • Dimensions: 214mm x 280mm x 20mm | 1,080g
  • Publication date: 12 February 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Berlin
  • ISBN 10: 3540440100
  • ISBN 13: 9783540440109
  • Edition: 3, Revised
  • Edition statement: 3rd Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: 120 illus., 107 in color.

Product description

The patterns on the shells of tropical sea snails are not only compellingly beautiful but also tell a tale of biological development. The decorative patterns are records of their own genesis, which follows laws like those of dune formation or the spread of a flu epidemic. Hans Meinhardt has analyzed the dynamical processes that form these patterns and retraced them faithfully in computer simulations. His book is exciting not only for the astonishing scientific knowledge it reveals but also for its fascinating pictures. An accompanying CD-ROM with the corresponding algorithms offers wide scope to those who wish to try their hand at simulating and varying the patterns.

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Review quote

From the reviews of the third edition: "This is a serious volume on the mathematical modeling of sea shell patterns. a ] This volume takes a rigorous approach, progressing systematically a ] . It would make a great text for either a course at the upper undergraduate or graduate level in mathematics or biology designed around it. It would also be a good supplemental text for a course in dynamical systems, differential equations a ] . It has left me with a new appreciation, wonder and curiosity about the myriad patterns on shells a ] ." (Amy Shell-Gellasch, MAA online, January, 2005)

Table of contents

Shell patterns as dynamic systems.- Pattern formation.- Oscillation and travelling waves.- Superposition of stable and periodic patterns.- Meshwork of oblique lines and staggered dots.- Branch initiation by global control.- The big problem: two or more time-dependent patterns.- Triangles.- Parallel lines with tongues.- Shell models in three dimensions.- The computer program.- Appendix: Pattern formation in the development of higher-level organisms.