In a new book John Putz describes the methods he uses to create
animations with the powerful computer algebra system, Maple.
in May, 2003, by Chapman & Hall / CRC Press, Maple Animation is
a formal presentation in textbook style of the techniques that Dr. Putz
has developed in creating the animated demonstrations he uses in his
classes to illustrate mathematical ideas. "As mathematicians describe
some process or another," he says, "we often have a moving image in our
mind's eye. With a computer animation, we can give that image to our
students, too. And we do our students a real favor in giving them a
vivid moving image to tie to a concept, something concrete to associate
with an abstraction. Maple Animation provides other mathematicians the
means to do that," he
explains, and "the techniques to implement their
own creative ideas."
During the winter term of 2003, Dr. Putz spent a sabbatical leave in Florence, Italy. After finishing his book, he investigated a specific connection between mathematics and visual art. His study included early Renaissance attempts to represent three dimensions with fidelity in two, Filippo Brunelleschi's practical solution of the perspective problem, and the origins of projective geometry, the mathematical theory that underpins perspective methods.