D’Arcy Thompson – paper skewing and Einstein

On Growth and Form published in 1917, the biologist D’Arcy Thompson (1860 – 1948) laid the foundations of what is now called bio-mathematics.

This works especially well with fish. It’s easy to turn many fish into one another using this mathematical “paper stretching and skewing” method.

For a more known example of the power of “paper stretching and skewing”, see Einstein [although he wasn’t the first to come up with warping space but nobody took it as far as he did]


Ah! We get first dibs. I can go with that. Not like the chipanzees are going to complai… HEY HEY HEY get back in your cage…. UGH sorry but my inner chimpanzee started attacking me.

His model was fine for 1917 thinking but it’s inferior thinking from a 2017 perspective.


Development in the same field continued with computers. Here, in 1985, Susan Brennan wrote a program to make caricatures based on similar principles laid out by D’arcy Thomson but instead of continuous transformations, this involved identifying salient features that distinguish one face from an ‘average’ face.





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