Experiments in Topology

Stephen Barr

A superbly informative book accessible to an imaginative middle school student. The text is very well written, and with support of easily reproducible graphics, is enjoyment to read. Given its small size and inordinate amount of illustrations, it's even more surprising how much information is actually presented to the reader. Along with more traditional topics like Moebius strip construction and onesidedness, you learn of shortest (needing the least amount of paper) strip and, more importantly, learn to recognize the strip when you see one. Anyone who absorbed the definition of topology as the science that made away with measurements and shape, will be surprised to discover the Moebius strip in its many incarnations presented in the book. It's the only book I am aware of that undertook to actually form the Klein bottle out of a piece of paper.

The book is aptly called "Experiments ..." for there is very little theory. However, at no point the author stops at trivialities, causing the reader to see the unexpected even behind the simple and easy.

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