Raph Levien's thesis

From Spiral to Spline: Optimal Techniques in Interactive Curve Design

This is the Web home of Raph Levien's PhD thesis. He completed it and presented his defense on Sept. 3, 2009. The final, official version (PDF) is 191 pages, in 11 points and formatted according to the (revised) official rules. (There's also a version formatted to the old paper rules, double spaced, odd margins, etc.)

Building from source

The thesis itself is in LaTeX format, and many of the figures are drawn using Python code (generally to Postscript). You'll need darcs to access the respository, Python, Ghostscript, NumPy, and Gnuplot. All should be standard in any decent Linux distro, and not hard install on a Mac (I used MacPorts, but fink should also work).

Use the following commands to get the source and produce the PDF file:

darcs get http://levien.com/phd/
cd phd/figs
cd ..
pdflatex frame
bibtex frame
pdflatex frame
pdflatex frame

Spiro and fonts

Among other things, the thesis describes the mathematical theory and numerical techniques behind Spiro, a library for interactive curve design.

These tools were also used to create quite a number of fonts, including Inconsolata.

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