Mathematical ideas, when first learned, tend to undergo a curious inner transformation. At the outset, some tangible representation is necessary to effectively latch onto the concept. Thereafter, the symbolic elaboration using the language of mathematics is sufficient to encompass not only that particular figure, but limitless others like it as well. The underlying geometry is still there, but there are simply too many possibilities to illustrate in any amount of time.
The first step of illustrating must be manifest, using ink or chalk or sand or digital pixels. In this way, even the finest geometric illustrations can be considered extremely crude and innacurate in comparison to rigorous mathematical precision. Consider, however, how extraordinarily difficult it would be to grasp trigonometric functions, vector spaces, or even the basic Cartesian coordinate system, without first observing supporting representative illustrations. Even if later forgotten, those initial images are crucial for understanding.
This work provides a wide range of richly color-illustrated examples of the abstract geometric structures dealt with regularly in mathematics and the sciences. It is unique in its quality and affordability, and is supported with excellent prose, briefly describing the developmental history, and frequently how to reconstruct the figures from a sparse handful of assumptions. From an introductory description of dimension, this book then branches into numerous and diverse major topics: scaling, slices, regular polytopes, perspective, coordinate geometry, and non-euclidean geometry. While sparing in its level of mathematical description and precision, it never diverges into a fully artistic exposition on the subjects either. There is a careful balance, to guide the reader into better understanding the particular system under discussion.
Certainly reading this book is merely the first step of a far longer term process. Symbolic computing programs, such as Mathematica, Maple or MatLab, will assist in visualization, as well as in understanding the pragmatic relation between the graphical and set-theoretic descriptions of the figures. Other books will also assist in this. Many of Rucker's works provide further descriptions of certain topics, specifically Geometry Relativity & The Fourth Dimension is admirable in its brevity and profundity. Abbott's classic Flatland is the foundational book on non-technical description of dimensions. The venerable What Is Mathematics? by Courant and Robbins combines illustration and mathematics as well as any work written since. Design science touches on these topics frequently as well, Kappraff's Connections is an extraordinary example of this. Deeper mathematical topics include set theory, algebraic groups, vector analysis, and too many others to list.
However abstract the concepts diagrams and illustrations in this book may seem initially, most if not all have been utilized for practical application in recent times. You may very well be using devices on a daily basis, which have these concepts as a basis for their functionality. Keep this in mind while reveling in what the individual imagination can conjure.