Vittorio Bertocci

Scatter thoughts

Modeling Reality

Modeling Reality

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Happy new year everyone!
My first 2005 post is about something that I hold very dear, a computer science book titled "Modeling Reality".
I've seen pretty much all phases of its building happening at about 1 mt from me: following the geek couple pattern by the book, she spent her evenings on her laptop at her side of the bed while I dug Gartner reports on web services and similar activities on mine. Ah forgot to mention: the book is the English version of the title Modelowanie Rzeczywistości, written by my girlfriend and her father from a cycle of lectures.
I haven't exactly read the book from cover to cover, though I recall various passionate discussions with the authors: the topics are very interesting (graph theory, social networks, statistical linguistics, evergreen fractals, chaotic systems, game theory, etc etc etc), and they are explained in a very straightforward fashion. What is really remarkable, though, is the accompanying CDROM with the software collection that was written in order to experience the concepts in the book: there is a Maldebrot explorer based on DirectX9 which delivers astounding performances, allowing zoom-in practically in real time. I haven't managed to talk her into writing things in managed code (I even bought her a copy of Visual Studio .NET some Christmas ago, playing havoc with the traditionalist mindsets in my family since it's not considered a suitable present for a girl :-)), she was really an old fashion C++ developer...
Curious fact: the cover image was modeled and rendered with POVray, and the high resolution version took to her machine (a modern P4 1.2 Gz with a respectable 512 Mb RAM) something like a night and a day to render!
  • Interresting, Modelowanie Rzeczywistości is in Polish :) You can find some description of the original at http://www.wiw.pl/modelowanie/ and also the programs for this book.
  • Yer, I forgot to mention that the authors are Polish. It should be noticed that "Modeling Reality" is not a simple translation, but a rewriting of the book; and the same holds for the companion programs. The latter are not available for downloads, but they are distributed together with the book. You can find further info at the book website: http://www.modelingreality.net/
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