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Feynman-Tufte principle

I prefer the general form of the principle -- "simple design, intense content" --to the van metaphor. ET

From the April 2005 Scientific American:

-- Edward Tufte

Response to The Feynman - Tufte Principle

It appears to me that true evaluation and appreciation of Feynman Diagrams cannot be made without strong knowledge of the "very complex world of quantum electrodynamics". On more accessible level, would not George Polya's diagrams in his 'How to Solve It' deserve to be called Polya Diagrams? Polya showed unknowns of the mathematical problem as dots, on the top of the diagram, and known data also as dots, on the bottom. Logical connections between these elements were shown by lines. The third part of Polya's diagram is a cloud that represents the hidden 'paths' from known data to the unknown. Polya's diagrams (and he made a series showing the unfolding solution process) are interesting in that they show not only mathematical elements (unknowns, and knowns) of the mathematical problem but problem solver's state of knowledge (or--state of ignorance) as well--in the same diagram! (A major innovation for math teaching practice of his time, I guess?)

-- Priit P. (email)

Feynman diagrams

The Polya book is part of the outstanding Princeton series of books on science and math, aimed at educated nonexperts. Feynman's contribution to that series is the wonderful book QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. It contains a number of Feynman diagrams; apparently Feynman thought that they could be used to good effect in explanations intended for lay readers.

-- Alex Merz (email)

Just published, Richard Feynman's letters, Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman, are a delight. I was saving the book for plane travel but started peeking and now have read much of the book. Not your typical academic communications. Brisk, straightforward, funny, emotional, and often quite gracious.

-- Edward Tufte

National Public Radio did a piece on Strunk and White going beyond words this morning. Specifically, Maira Kalman has made an illustrated edition of The Elements of Style, and teamed with Nico Muhly to produce a Strunk and White opera!

-- Bil Kleb (email)

Peteris Krumins has compiled every video of Richard Feynman he could find on the internet.

-- Niels Olson (email)

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