What We Are Reading Today: Opt Art by Robert Bosch

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Updated 22 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Opt Art by Robert Bosch

  • Opt Art takes readers on an entertaining tour of linear optimization

Linear optimization is a powerful modeling method for discovering the best solution to a problem among a set of available alternatives. 

It is one of today’s most important branches of mathematics and computer science — and also a surprisingly rich medium for creating breathtaking works of art. 

Opt Art takes readers on an entertaining tour of linear optimization and its applications, showing along the way how it can be used to design visual art, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

Robert Bosch provides a lively and accessible introduction to the geometric, algebraic, and algorithmic foundations of optimization. He presents classical applications, such as the legendary Traveling Salesman Problem, and shows how to adapt them to make optimization art—opt art. 

Each chapter in this marvelously illustrated book begins with a problem or puzzle and demonstrates how the solution can be derived using a host of artistic methods and media, including 3D printing, laser cutting, and computer-controlled machining.


What We Are Reading Today: The Political Power of Economic Ideas by Peter A. Hall

Updated 24 November 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Political Power of Economic Ideas by Peter A. Hall

John Maynard Keynes once observed that the “ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood.” 

The contributors to this volume take that assertion seriously. In a full-scale study of the impact of Keynesian doctrines across nations, their essays trace the reception accorded Keynesian ideas, initially during the 1930s and then in the years after World War II, in a wide range of nations, including Britain, the US, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Scandinavia. 

The contributors review the latest historical evidence to explain why some nations embraced Keynesian policies while others did not. At a time of growing interest in comparative public policy-making, they examine the central issue of how and why particular ideas acquire influence over policy and politics.

Based on three years of collaborative research for the Social Science Research Council, the volume takes up central themes in contemporary economics, political science, and history. The contributors are Christopher S. Allen, Marcello de Cecco, Peter Alexis Gourevitch, Eleanor M. Hadley, Peter A. Hall, Albert O. Hirschman, Harold James, Bradford A. Lee, Jukka Pekkarinen, Pierre Rosanvallon, Walter S. Salant, Margaret Weir, and Donald Winch.