This richly illustrated book discusses non-Euclidean geometry and the hyperbolic plane in an accessible way. The author provides instructions for how to crochet models of the hyperbolic plane, pseudosphere, and catenoid/helicoids. With this knowledge, the reader has a hands-on tool for learning the properties of the hyperbolic plane and negative curvature. The author also explores geometry and its historical connections with art, architecture, navigation, and motion, as well as the history of crochet, which provides a context for the significance of a physical model of a mathematical concept that has plagued mathematicians for centuries.
Daina Taimina was born in Riga, Latvia in 1954--the same year as an International Congress of Mathematicians pivotal to non-Euclidean geometry (as she describes in the Introduction), so her influence on the hyperbolic plane almost seems fated. Now a professor of mathematics at Cornell University, Taimina regularly participates in art exhibitions and educational workshops related to her crocheted models. She was nominated as one of the "Most Innovative People and Organizations in the Science and Technology World in 2006."