Introduced 160 years ago as an attempt to generalize complex numbers to higher dimensions, quaternions are now recognized as one of the most important concepts in modern computer graphics. They offer a powerful way to represent rotations and compared to rotation matrices they use less memory, compose faster, and are naturally suited for efficient interpolation of rotations. Despite this, many practitioners have avoided quaternions because of the mathematics used to understand them, hoping that some day a more intuitive description will be available.
The wait is over. Andrew Hanson's new book is a fresh perspective on quaternions. The first part of the book focuses on visualizing quaternions to provide the intuition necessary to use them, and includes many illustrative examples to motivate why they are important-a beautiful introduction to those wanting to explore quaternions unencumbered by their mathematical aspects. The second part covers the all-important advanced applications, including quaternion curves, surfaces, and volumes. Finally, for those wanting the full story of the mathematics behind quaternions, there is a gentle introduction to their four-dimensional nature and to Clifford Algebras, the all-encompassing framework for vectors and quaternions.
Please Note: This is an On Demand product, delivery may take up to 11 working days after payment has been received.
Andrew J. Hanson is an Emeritus Professor of Computer Science at Indiana University. He earned a bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Physics from Harvard University in 1966 and a PhD in Theoretical Physics from MIT under Kerson Huang in 1971. His interests range from general relativity to computer graphics, artificial intelligence, and bioinformatics; he is particularly concerned with applications of quaternions and with exploitation of higher-dimensional graphics for the visualization of complex scientific contexts such as Calabi-Yau spaces. He is the co-discoverer of the Eguchi-Hanson "gravitational instanton Einstein metric (1978), author of Visualizing Quaternions (Elsevier, 2006), and designer of the iPhone Apps "4Dice and "4DRoom (2012) for interacting with four-dimensional virtual reality.