Illustrated with interesting examples from everyday life, this text shows how to create ellipses, parabolas, and hyperbolas and presents fascinating historical background on their ancient origins. The text starts with a discussion of techniques for generating the conic curves, showing how to create accurate depictions of large or small conic curves and describing their reflective properties, from light in telescopes to sound in microphones and amplifiers. It further defines the role of curves in the construction of auditoriums, antennas, lamps, and numerous other design applications. Only a basic knowledge of plane geometry needed; suitable for undergraduate courses. 1993 edition. 98 figures.