Released on February 25, 2002, this article from the National Academy of Sciences' Beyond Discovery online magazine "describes the development of the mathematical modeling technique known as wavelets." Used in image compression and digital signal processing, wavelet functions are important for computer graphics and animation. The article is very well organized and can be understood by anyone with a modest math background. The few scientific and mathematical terms used in the text are hyperlinked to a wavelets glossary. Examples of wavelet applications are given, describing their use in animated movies and FBI fingerprinting. The final section of the article looks at the future of wavelet theory.