As with Conway and Smith's Quarternions and Octonions, I am surprised to find myself the first reviewer of this amazing book. The Symmetries of Things manages to be a reference work of importance and a coffee table book at the same time. The classification of symmetries is comprehensive bringing together a wide rangle of results using an accessible notation that highlights connections. The accompanying images illustrating the symmetries have had my crafting friends agog. As a non-expert I am not able to comment on the mathemaics, but with Conway as one of the authors it is likely to be of high quality. Again this is not a book for the casual reader of mathematics. However the imagery is accessible to anyone and should be inspiring to anyone with an interest in pattern.
I don't understand the whole book. It is part of my project to understand the theory of finite groups. However, whenever I get stuck I can enjoy the images.
This is a great book. I had some misgivings at first: I did not like some of the terminology and I found some of the language a little vague. However, having penetrated much further into its depths, I find it quite awe-inspiring. Its presentation is second to none; it is jam-packed with beautiful illustrations. Although it is very mathematical, there is plenty to delight the non-mathematical reader. I have not seen another maths book that treats symmetry in as much depth or does it so well as this – or even comes close. A marvellous achievement. I think it deserves two more stars, so here they are: * *.
I bought this book for my son for Christmas as he had requested it. He had already seen a copy and is very pleased with the content and the high quality of the content and the publication. It's fine if you like maths etc.!