Our plots of the first eigenfunction of the L-shaped membrane have changed several times over the last fifty years.
Ph.D. thesis. Two dimensional contour plot. Calcomp plotter with ball-point pen drawing on paper mounted on a rotating drum.
Calcomp plotter. Math department individual study student project. Original 3d perspective and hidden line algorithms. Unfortunately, I don't remember the student's name.
The first MathWorks documentation and the first surf plot. Apple Macintosh daisy wheel electric typewriter with perhaps 72 dots-per-inch resolution.
Laser printer with much better resolution.
Sun workstation with CRT display and color. Hot colormap, proportional to height.
A hand made lighting model. I have to admit this looks pretty phony today.
Good lighting and shading. But at the time this was just a nice graphics demonstration. It was a few more years before it became the official company logo.
A prototype 3d printer. Pure granular silicon, a few dozen grains per inch. (Thanks to Robin Nelson and David Eells for curating photos.)
Cleve's Corner, "The Growth of MATLAB and The MathWorks over Two Decades", MathWorks News&Notes, Jan. 2006.
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