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Editor's Note

The CVM is interested in developing expository techniques that go beyond what is possible in the traditional printed journal. One form that this can take is a highly linked, layered document that provides additional information about terms or ideas used in the document; the author can write at a level of detail appropriate for a knowledgable audience while still providing additional support for those who are less familiar with the subject. Two articles in this issue are of this type: Vibrating wallpaper, by Frank Farris, and A tight polyhedral real projective plane with one handle, by Davide P. Cervone. The latter is somewhat of an historical document, having been written in 1994 long before there were many of the hypertext features we consider common today (this was before Netscape, Internet Explorer, VRML, Java, tables, etc., were available).

A second approach is to depart more radically from the standard written format. This is the method used in Surfaces beyond the third dimension, by Thomas Banchoff and Davide P. Cervone. Here, the authors take the reader on a virtual tour of an art exhibit that originally appeared physically at the Providence Art Club in Providence, Rhode Island, in early 1996. The exhibition lets you move among the artworks and either read about the mathematics involved, see movies of the surfaces, or interact with VRML versions of the objects.

A third approach uses a more traditional linear document style, but augments it with color images, movie clips and intgeractive graphics. This approach is used in the remaining two articles in this volume, Cusps of gauss mappings, by Thomas Banchoff, Terrence Gaffney, and Clint McCrory, and Visualizing space-filling curves with fractals, but Mark Meyerson. The former revisits a 15-year-old paper and adds a considerable number of movies and images to the examples. The latter is a new work that uses sequences of curves that converge to solid regions, with animations to help you see what is happening. While these papers are still essentially linear, and do not take as much advantage of the hypertext form as the first two articles, they do include features that are not possible in traditional print media.

Some parts of these documents are still under construction, as this is still a prototype issue. We are still developing ideas for the format of this journal and its articles, and encourage you to designing new communications methods in your own papers.


[Up] Communications in Visual Mathematics (1.1)
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Communications in Visual Mathematics, vol 1, no 1, August 1998.
Copyright © 1998, The Mathematical Association of America. All rights reserved.
Created: 19 Aug 1998 --- Last modified: Sep 30, 2003 5:00:48 PM
Comments to: CVM@maa.org