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Visual Complex Analysis Paperback – Jan 1 1999
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`...one very fine recent example of mathematical graphics at a high level is Needham's Visual Complex Analysis.'
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numerous line drawingsSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a book that any math afficionado must have, and will undoubtedly savor. I frankly don't understand those reviewers who have given this book fewer than five stars. In fact, five stars wouldn't seem to be enough here. This book is among the best math books one will ever find! What else would one want from a such book? It is exciting, friendly, creative, often funny, crystal clear, fresh, deep, and unfailingly courteous to the reader--a quality not always found in math texts.
Additionally, this book succeeds on another level -- it is just plain beautiful. Math, to be great, must be beautiful, while books about great math too often are not. This book is truly beautiful, even artful. The author has taken great care to create beauty here.
I intially bought this book, because as an ex-mathematician whose analysis skills were getting rusty I wanted to revisit complex analysis. This book certainly succeeded in brushing up those old skills, but it also deepened them. The book has marvelous insights and geometric drawings that demonstrate in a clever way the links between complex analysis and other branches of math and physics. How could one not love the lovely and intricate drawings that depict, say, loxodromic transformations on a sphere, or the eye-popping diagrams of rotations in hyperbolic space? They're fabulous! Even the problem sets are delightful.
As a side note, some of the historical glosses about mathematicians are also very lively, and are another source of pleasure here.
On the dust jacket is the blurb--"If you must buy only one math book this year, this is the one to buy." I have to agree. I bought a couple dozen math books last year, and this one outshines the rest. I can't recommend it highly enough, even if you already feel comfortable with complex analysis.
I encourage my fellow readers to pick this up, and see how beautiful a math book can be.
in mathematical physics for 40 years, feel compelled to gush like a teenager. It is mighty
therapy for a generation raised on conciseness, abstruseness, abstraction and Bourbaki.
Possibly one cause for this sorry state of affairs (there are others, but I'm in a generous mood!)
is the vast mass of knowledge that has to be mastered by modern devotees. But, like any fashion, this
one has taken on a life of its own. A friend who works at MIT recently showed a book to a young post-doc,
claiming it was a "friendly" introduction to such-and-such. Without even glancing at the evidence, the
hot-shot replied that if it was all that friendly, it couldn't possibly be any good!
Needham takes you back to an earlier sensibility, naive and profound in equal measure,
tackling problems leisurely with nothing but your own intuition and a few simple facts
from geometry. Following his guidance, you understand the solution several times from
different angles and come out with that intoxicating feeling of "owning" the entire
thing, not as a means to an end (publishing, accolades, ...) but as a thing of beauty. It's
hard to believe, but early masters like Newton actually managed to understand vast and
complex fields of science in this very tactile way. That art, largely lost, has been revived
lately by a select few including Needham and Chandrasekhar (Newton's Principia for the
Common Reader, Clarendon Press, 1997). I've made a complete mess of my copy: margin notes,
sketches, ... and probably a few drool marks. Let's hope this starts a movement. If there is a way
to save American math education, this has got to be it! Thanks, Tristan.
Most recent customer reviews
I purchased this book as a reference and because of it's coverage on Mobius Transformations, which is great! My qualms are with the other parts of the book, however. Read morePublished on March 2 2004
I used this book in an introductory Complex Variables course in a top 20 ranked US college. I enjoyed the authors clear explaination of material and clearly british sense of... Read morePublished on Oct. 2 2003 by Christopher G. Moore
This book does an exceptional job of giving a hands-on person an opportunity to "see" what is happening in complex analysis. Read morePublished on Aug. 21 2003 by Chip Smith
i am not a philisopher like some reviewers here...this book is really wonderful and even better.
the subject is very clearly explained in a very educational manner. Read more
I bought this book in conjuction with a class on complex mathematics I took at a university. Within two classes I had abandoned all hope of actually learning something and by... Read morePublished on Aug. 6 2003
This is a marvelous presentation of the subject. After looking at many analysis books which require a great deal of coffee to accompany them, I was surprised to find a book that... Read morePublished on June 25 2003 by Dima
Th merits of this book has been well talked by others, I have few to add to. My question is, in order to distinguish the text, does the author distort the history of the subject? Read morePublished on June 8 2003
This is one hell of a book. Needham explains the geometrical concept of complex numbers and functions in a highly visual way. Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2002
If somebody ask you to choose one book, because you are going to live the rest of your live in Mars, choose this one.Published on Oct. 16 2002 by Juan Gustavo Sanchez
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