There is a vast mathematics literature on wavelets.
Much of this literature deals with wavelets from
a theoretical point of view. Although books like
Strang and Nguyen's "Wavelets and Filter Banks" are
well written math books, their emphasis is on mathematics,
not application. For example, not until Chapter 8, half
way through the book, do Strang and Nguyen discuss the
mathematics for dealing with a finite, rather than an
infinite data set.
"Ripples in Mathematics" is the seventh book on wavelets that
I've worked with. So far it is the best. The concentration
is on applying wavelet techniques. The book approaches
wavelets through a relatively new technique developed
by Wim Sweldens and others called "the Lifting Scheme". The
lifting scheme provides a structure for wavelets that is
easier to understand. Lifting scheme wavelets also have the
elegant feature that the transform and the inverse transform
are mirrors of each other.
The authors of "Ripples in Mathematics" keep the mathematics
level at a relatively introductory level (e.g., relative
to some of the other wavelet books).
"Ripples in Mathematics" provides the first explaination of
wavelet packets that I have understood. Even better they
discuss the actual implementation of the wavelet packet
algorithm. They also provide a chapter that covers wavelets
applied to finite data sets in a clear non-theoretical fashion
(I found this much more approachable than Strang and Nguyen).
The perfect wavelet book for me has not yet been written,
so I have given this book only four stars. I think of
my perfect book on wavelets as "Wavelets for Dumb Engineers".
This book has been written for Fourier analysis and classical
signal processing (see Richard Lyons' outstanding book
"Understanding Digital Signal Processing").
There is a difference in point of view between mathematicans
and most software and hardware engineers. Our concern is
how the technique can be applied. "Ripples in Mathematics"
provides the necessary material to implement the algorithms,
but you will have to put in some work reading this book and
writing the software (or software models for a hardware
implementation). There are no application hints of the kind
that Lyons provides for applying the Fourier transform. Unlike
Lyons the authors are mathematicians, not practicing digital
signal processing engineers.