"In the world of mathematics, the 1980's might well be described as the "decade of the fractal". Starting with Benoit Mandelbrot's remarkable text The Fractal Geometry of Nature, there has been a deluge of books, articles and television programmes about the beautiful mathematical objects, drawn by computers using recursive or iterative algorithms, which Mandelbrot christened fractals. Gerald Edgar's book is a significant addition to this deluge. Based on a course given to talented high- school students at Ohio University in 1988, it is, in fact, an advanced undergraduate textbook about the mathematics of fractal geometry, treating such topics as metric spaces, measure theory, dimension theory, and even some algebraic topology...the book also contains many good illustrations of fractals (including 16 color plates)."
"The book can be recommended to students who seriously want to know about the mathematical foundation of fractals, and to lecturers who want to illustrate a standard course in metric topology by interesting examples."
Christoph Bandt, Mathematical Reviews
"...not only intended to fit mathematics students who wish to learn fractal geometry from its beginning but also students in computer science who are interested in the subject. Especially, for the last students the author gives the required topics from metric topology and measure theory on an elementary level. The book is written in a very clear style and contains a lot of exercises which should be worked out."
About the second edition: Changes throughout the text, taking into account developments in the subject matter since 1990; Major changes in chapter 6. Since 1990 it has become clear that there are two notions of dimension that play complementary roles, so the emphasis on Hausdorff dimension will be replaced by the two: Hausdorff dimension and packing dimension. 6.1 will remain, but a new section on packing dimension will follow it, then the old sections 6.2--6.4 will be re-written to show both types of dimension; Substantial change in chapter 7: new examples along with recent developments; Sections rewritten to be made clearer and more focused.
By classifying irreducible cubics over the real numbers and proving that their points form Abelian groups, the book gives readers easy access to the study of elliptic curves. It includes a simple proof of Bezout’s Theorem on the number of intersections of two curves.
The book is a text for a one-semester course. The course can serve either as the one undergraduate geometry course taken by mathematics majors in general or as a sequel to college geometry for prospective or current teachers of secondary school mathematics. The only prerequisite is first-year calculus.
The new edition additionally discusses the use of power series to parametrize curves and analyze intersection multiplicities and envelopes.