Toronto has been my home for the last thirty nine years. After graduating from the University of Waterloo in the late 60’s, I began teaching chemistry for what was then called the Etobicoke Board of Education. Eight years ago, I retired from teaching, and most of my time is now spent pursuing my three hobbies – the photomicrography of thin layers of chemical crystals using a polarizing microscope, the macrophotography and photomicrography of flowers, and the visualization of mathematical functions using the software Mathematica and several raytracers (trueSpace, Bryce, Povray, etc.).
My interest in using computers to plot mathematical functions began early – with my first computer, a Commodore ‘PET’. The screen resolution was, of course, abysmal, but eventually an addon board allowed amazing 320 x 200 pixel plots. Today, of course such resolutions are laughable, but then, they were ‘state of the art’! Over the years, I have used many computers, both Mac and Windows, to drive plotters, and to generate printed output. Threedimensional raytraced plots that used to take up to 72 hours of continuous calculation can now be completed in 12 hours or less. How computers have evolved! By far the most spectacular developments (in my view) are in the area of printing technology which allow the production of large, brilliantly coloured prints of interesting plots.
My two other hobbies share a common problem. In the real world, cameras have a limited depth of field, resulting in only small areas of a tiny subject being in focus. What a pleasure it is then to raytrace mathematical functions where the ‘virtual’ camera can possess infinite depth of field!
If you’re interested in having a look at some examples of my mathematical graphics, the site is given below.
As I mentioned earlier, ‘real’ cameras are used to visualize the subjects of my other two interests. If you’re interested, take a look at the two websites below.
Examples of my crystal photomicrographs can be found here,
while examples of my flower images can be found here.






My web page on
To contact me: bjohnston@idirect.com 