2014-06-06

The picture on the book's cover: the story behind it.

The picture used as background for this blog is also the one used on the book's cover. It may look like a set of greenish color bands, but it is more than that. The picture used on the cover is not the most important part of the book (if it is for you, maybe I have missed my goal writing the book). Nevertheless there is a small story behind it and I though it was worth sharing it.

The initial book jacket proposal from the editor was not really to my taste. At the time the editor didn't want to change the collection cover. I made a couple of suggestions to change the small color square on the original design using some of the pictures in my personal library. A couple of weeks before the publication date for the book, to my surprise (and joy), the editor decided to change completely the design for the entire collection. For my book, which is the first with the new design, he used one of the pictures I had suggested, the one you can see on the blog background. The picture is simply the close-up of a palm-tree leave. It is a "natural" picture. The other books in the collection will use computer generated pictures with geometrical figures.

When my Mum saw the book cover for the first time, she said that it looked like a "botanical book". As you know from the story of the cover picture, this is a true statement, in some sense of the term "botanical".
La mathématique est l’art de donner le même nom à des choses différentes.

Henri Poincaré.

Personal translation: Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different items.

My Belgium house, the place from where I write most of my articles, is located in the region of Brussels (technically it is not located in the municipality of Brussels, which is only one of the 19 municipalities composing Brussels region, but I don't want to bore you with Belgian political system). The precise location is unimportant, except that it is located just next to the "Jardin Botanique", i.e. the botanical garden of Brussels. So even if the picture on the cover was not taken in that botanical garden, my links to botanical science extend not only to the cover of my book but also to the location where it was mainly written.

I have to add a third botanical connection. My grand fathers were both agronomist. They worked most of their careers in what was then the "Belgian Congo". Looking at books in the familly library, I can find books like "L'Arboretum de Stanleyville" and "Reforestation sur grande échelle au Kivu", written by my grand father Paul Liégeois in the 50s. So certainly a family connection to trees (not of the binomial/trinomial type but of the wood type) and leaves.

Book's cover

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