Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Page's Worth

I have four books on my out from the library stack right now. The top two are almost identical in size; they are, respectively, Model Order Reduction Techniques with Applications in Finite Element Analysis (Qu) and Group Supermatrices in Finite Element Analysis (Zlokovic). As far as I can tell, the former book has at least twice the density of information per page -- not in a strict information-theoretic sense, of course -- that the latter has. This is mostly an illustration of the importance of compact notation: for about half the book on symmetry groups in finite elements, the author just shows page after page of large block matrices, most of which could be written in perhaps a tenth of the space by a wiser choice of notation. A picture is woth a thousand words? Bah! Only when the picture is chosen wisely.

  • Currently drinking: Coffee