leah blogs

March 2005

24mar2005 · Byrne's Euclid

Paul Graham’s last second to last essay, “Undergraduation” contains as a footnote a link to Byrne’s Euclid,

[a]n unusual and attractive edition of Euclid […] published in 1847 in England, edited by an otherwise unknown mathematician named Oliver Byrne. It covers the first 6 books of Euclid’s Elements of Geometry, which range through most of elementary plane geometry and the theory of proportions. What distinguishes Byrne’s edition is that he attempts to present Euclid’s proofs in terms of pictures, using as little text - and in particular as few labels - as possible. What makes the book especially striking is his use of colour. […]

It really looks like an excellent book, especially if you are easily confused by short identifiers (that is, one char), possibly indexed by another char. (I get reminded of Knuth’s “The Art Of Computer Programming”…)

Still, the use of no identifiers at all, but graphics everywhere can get pretty confusing, too.

NP: Dan Bern—Too Late To Die Young

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