Meshing Books Reviewed in SIAM Review

I’m happy to share with you the publication in SIAM Review (Vol. 59, Issue 3, pp. 693-699, ISSN (online): 1095-7200) of a review, co-authored by Tim Tautges from Siemens and myself, of two mesh generation textbooks. A screen capture of a portion of the issue’s table of contents is shown below.


They tell me the print version of SIAM Review will be mailed within a few weeks. So those of you who are SIAM members and/or have online access will be able to read our review soon. It’s our hope that you find the review both useful and enjoyable.

The Books


How Did This Happen?

I remember back in the summer of 2015 when Tim first proposed that we work together on a review of Delaunay Mesh Generation by Cheng, Dey, and Shewchuk. I was completely caught by surprise. Why would someone with Tim’s technical reputation want to work with a silly blogger on an article that would be fairly complex? But then again, how could I say no? Not content to review one book, we added Lo’s Finite Element Mesh Generation to our task several months later.

For 18 months we talked on the phone once a month to review our notes on each chapter of each book. Each book was my airline reading material on Disneyland trips at least once. I feel like Tim spent most of his time explaining the technical details of the books’ mathematics to me. He’d probably say I spent most of my time keeping us on schedule. Toward the end of the project we visited each other’s home and family and enjoyed some good meals together – and we might’ve discussed the books too.

Reading these two books (multiple times for me) with Tim and our discussions about them became one of the most rewarding projects of my career. I probably learned more about Delaunay meshing techniques from this project alone than in my entire life up until this point (which may not be saying too much).

In the end, it’s all simple math. Two professional acquaintances plus two mesh generation textbooks plus 18 months equals two friends and an article that we hope you find beneficial.

But Wait, There’s More

SIAM has been kind enough to let me post the review in its entirety here on Another Fine Mesh. I hope to do so within the next few weeks.


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5 Responses to Meshing Books Reviewed in SIAM Review

  1. Tim Tautges says:

    I really can’t say anything different than John did above, except that maybe he’s being too polite about how hard he had to work to keep me on task. This was one of the most truly rewarding efforts of my career, both professionally and personally. I came away with another publication but also another good friend.

  2. Jonathan Shewchuk says:

    Thank you very kindly for reviewing our book so thoughtfully. I’m thrilled to have it written about in SIAM Review! You must have put a lot of time into it.

    I really enjoyed hearing the story behind the scenes. It’s great that our book was an occasion for fraternity. It makes me happy to imagine your dinners.

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