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: Factory Girls by E. Patricia Tsurumi

Updated 07 July 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Factory Girls by E. Patricia Tsurumi

Investigating the enormous contribution made by female textile workers to early industrialization in Meiji Japan, Patricia Tsurumi vividly documents not only their hardships but also their triumphs. While their skills and long hours created profits for factory owners that in turn benefited the state, the labor of these women and girls enabled their tenant farming families to continue paying high rents in the countryside. 

Tsurumi shows that through their experiences as Japan’s first modern factory workers, these “factory girls” developed an identity that played a crucial role in the history of the Japanese working class. Much of this story is based on records the factory girls themselves left behind, including their songs. “It is a delight to receive a meticulous and comprehensive volume on the plight of women who pioneered (assembly plant) employment in Asia a century ago ….” — L. L. Cornell, The Journal of Asian Studies “Tsurumi writes of these rural women with compassion and treats them as sentient, valuable individuals …. [Many] readers will find these pages informative and thought provoking.” — Sally Ann Hastings, Monumenta Niponica.