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Regularity and Complexity in Dynamical Systems (by Albert C. J. Luo)

Regularity and Complexity in Dynamical Systems describes periodic and chaotic behaviors in dynamical systems, including continuous, discrete, impulsive,discontinuous, and switching systems. In traditional analysis, the periodic and chaotic behaviors in continuous, nonlinear dynamical systems were extensively discussed even if unsolved. In recent years, there has been an increasing amount of interest in periodic and chaotic behaviors in discontinuous dynamical systems because such dynamical systems are prevalent in engineering. Usually,the smoothening of discontinuous dynamical system is adopted in order to use the theory of continuous dynamical systems. However, such technique cannot provide suitable results in such discontinuous systems. In this book, an alternative way is presented to discuss the periodic and chaotic behaviors in discontinuous dynamical systems.

 

 

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Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Artificial Life 2017

Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Artificial Life 2017 | CxBooks | Scoop.it

This volume is the proceedings of ECAL 2017, the Fourteenth European Conference on Artificial Life, held September 4–8th 2017, in Lyon, France (https://project.inria.fr/ecal2017/). Since the first ECAL in 1991, the conference is the main international event of the International Society for Artificial Life in odd-numbered years, alternating with ALife, the International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems. The theme of this edition of ECAL was "Create, play, experiment, discover: The experimental power of virtual worlds". The volume contains the abstracts of the seven invited presentations, as well as 87 contributed articles selected by the programme committee based on at least three independent reviews. Contributions are either long (up to 8 pages) or short (up to 2 pages) articles. Long articles present original results, while short articles are extended abstracts presenting either original work or recently published work. These contributions cover all the topics of artificial life, including: artificial chemistry; origins of life; self-replication, self-repair and morphogenesis; evolutionary dynamics; ecological dynamics; social dynamics; computational cellular biology; computational physiology; bio-inspired robotics; evolutionary robotics; perception, cognition and behavior; evolution of language and computational linguistics; embodied and interactive systems; collective dynamics of swarms; complex dynamical systems and networks; cellular automata and discrete dynamical systems; economic and social systems as living systems; computational humanities; methodologies and tools for artificial life; interactions between in silico/in vitro/in vivo experiments; philosophical, epistemological and ethical issues; artificial life and education; artificial life-based art; applications of artificial life; living technologies.

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Explaining Top-Down Minds from the Bottom Up. Review of From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds by Daniel C. Dennett, 2017

The main topic of Dennett’s book is intelligent design and the design of intelligence, trying to make intuitive the processes of both, be it the top-down process of comprehension that designs with foresight and reasons or the bottom-up process of evolution that has, through blind trial and error, captured free-floating rationales and ultimately, through co-evolution (between memes and genes), achieved top-down intelligence, flipping its original design process upside down.

 

Delarivière S. (2017) Explaining top-down minds from the bottom up. Review of from bacteria to bach and back: The evolution of minds by daniel c. Dennett, 2017.. Constructivist Foundations 12(3): 369–372. http://constructivist.info/12/3/369

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The Money Formula: Dodgy Finance, Pseudo Science, and How Mathematicians Took Over the Markets

The Money Formula: Dodgy Finance, Pseudo Science, and How Mathematicians Took Over the Markets | CxBooks | Scoop.it

The Money Formula takes you inside the engine room of the global economy to explore the little-understood world of quantitative finance, and show how the future of our economy rests on the backs of this all-but-impenetrable industry. Written not from a post-crisis perspective – but from a preventative point of view – this book traces the development of financial derivatives from bonds to credit default swaps, and shows how mathematical formulas went beyond pricing to expand their use to the point where they dwarfed the real economy. You'll learn how the deadly allure of their ice-cold beauty has misled generations of economists and investors, and how continued reliance on these formulas can either assist future economic development, or send the global economy into the financial equivalent of a cardiac arrest.

Rather than rehash tales of post-crisis fallout, this book focuses on preventing the next one. Even amidst global recovery, the financial system still has the potential to seize up at any moment. The Money Formula explores the how and why of financial disaster, what must happen to prevent the next one.

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What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins

What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins | CxBooks | Scoop.it

There are more than thirty thousand species of fish―more than mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians combined. But for all their breathtaking diversity and beauty, we rarely consider how fish think, feel, and behave. In What a Fish Knows, the ethologist Jonathan Balcombe takes us under the sea and to the other side of the aquarium glass to reveal what fishes can do, how they do it, and why. Introducing the latest revelations in animal behavior and biology, Balcombe upends our assumptions about fish, exposing them not as unfeeling, dead-eyed creatures but as sentient, aware, social―even Machiavellian. They conduct elaborate courtship rituals and develop lifelong bonds with shoal-mates. They also plan, hunt cooperatively, use tools, punish wrongdoers, curry favor, and deceive one another. Fish possess sophisticated senses that rival our own. The reef-dwelling damselfish identifies its brethren by face patterns visible only in ultraviolet light, and some species communicate among themselves in murky waters using electric signals. Highlighting these breakthrough discoveries and others from his own encounters with fish, Balcombe inspires a more enlightened appraisal of marine life.

An illuminating journey into the world of underwater science, What a Fish Knows will forever change your view of our aquatic cousins.

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ComplexInsight's curator insight, July 7, 5:21 AM
One for the reading list - looks fascinating.
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The enlightened empiricist

For Isaac Newton, laying the foundation of modern physics and astronomy was a bit of a sideshow. He believed that his truly important work was deciphering ancient scriptures and uncovering the nature of the Christian religion. True, his skill in calculation was helpful for describing celestial mechanics, but far more critical was applying it to Hebrew prophecies.

How do we think about his career when we consider that Newton wrote vastly more on religious subjects than he did on what we would consider scientific ones? Rob Iliffe's new book Priest of Nature pulls back the curtain on what Newton thought of as his life's work, rather than that for which we remember him.

 

The enlightened empiricist
Matthew Stanley
Priest of Nature: The Religious Worlds of Isaac Newton Rob Iliffe Oxford University Press, 2017. 536 pp.

Science  30 Jun 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6345, pp. 1341
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan4659

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The Great Unknown: Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science: Marcus du Sautoy

The Great Unknown: Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science: Marcus du Sautoy | CxBooks | Scoop.it

A captivating journey to the outer reaches of human knowledge

Ever since the dawn of civilization we have been driven by a desire to know--to understand the physical world and the laws of nature. But are there limits to human knowledge? Are some things beyond the predictive powers of science, or are those challenges simply the next big discovery waiting to happen?
Marcus du Sautoy takes us into the minds of science's greatest innovators and reminds us that major breakthroughs were often ridiculed at the time of their discovery. Then he carries us on a whirlwind tour of seven "Edges" of knowledge - inviting us to consider the problems in quantum physics, cosmology, probability and neuroscience that continue to bedevil scientists who are at the front of their fields. He grounds his personal exploration of some of science's thorniest questions in simple concepts like the roll of dice, the notes of a cello, or how a clock measures time. 

Exhilarating, mind-bending, and compulsively readable, The Great Unknown challenges us to think in new ways about every aspect of the known world as it invites us to consider big questions that no one has yet managed to answer definitively.

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Defined by Design: The Surprising Power of Hidden Gender, Age, and Body Bias in Everyday Products and Places

Defined by Design: The Surprising Power of Hidden Gender, Age, and Body Bias in Everyday Products and Places | CxBooks | Scoop.it

This wide-ranging overview of design in everyday life demonstrates how design shapes our lives in ways most of us would never imagine. The author, a leading expert in social and psychological issues in design, uncovers the gender, age, and body biases inherent in the designs of common products and living spaces that we all routinely use. From the schools our children attend and the buildings we work in to ill-fitting clothes and one-size-fits-all seating in public transportation, restaurants, and movie theaters, we are surrounded by an artificial environment that can affect our comfort, our self-image, and even our health.

Anthony points out the flaws and disadvantages of certain fashions, children's toys, high-tech gadgets, packaging, public transportation, public restrooms, neighborhood layouts, classrooms, workplaces, hospitals, and more. In an increasingly diverse populace where many body types, age groups, and cultures interact, she argues that it's time our environments caught up.

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A Guide to Temporal Networks

A Guide to Temporal Networks (Series on Complexity Science)

~ Renaud Lambiotte (author) More about this product
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Network science offers a powerful language to represent and study complex systems composed of interacting elements from the Internet to social and biological systems. In its standard formulation, this framework relies on the assumption that the underlying topology is static, or changing very slowly as compared to dynamical processes taking place on it, e.g., epidemic spreading or navigation. Fuelled by the increasing availability of longitudinal networked data, recent empirical observations have shown that this assumption is not valid in a variety of situations. Instead, often the network itself presents rich temporal properties and new tools are required to properly describe and analyse their behaviour.A Guide to Temporal Networks presents recent theoretical and modelling progress in the emerging field of temporally varying networks, and provides connections between different areas of knowledge required to address this multi-disciplinary subject. After an introduction to key concepts on networks and stochastic dynamics, the authors guide the reader through a coherent selection of mathematical and computational tools for network dynamics. Perfect for students and professionals, this book is a gateway to an active field of research developing between the disciplines of applied mathematics, physics and computer science, with applications in others including social sciences, neuroscience and biology.

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Benoit Mandelbrot: A Life in Many Dimensions

This is a collection of articles, many written by people who worked with Mandelbrot, memorializing the remarkable breadth and depth of his work in science and the arts. Contributors include mathematicians, physicists, biologists, economists, and engineers, as expected; and also artists, musicians, teachers, an historian, an architect, a filmmaker, and a comic. Some articles are quite technical, others entirely descriptive. All include stories about Benoit.

Also included are chapters on fractals and music by Charles Wuorinen and by Harlan Brothers, on fractals and finance by Richard Hudson and by Christian Walter, on fractal invisibility cloaks by Nathan Cohen, and a personal reminiscence by Aliette Mandelbrot.

While he is known most widely for his work in mathematics and in finance, Benoit influenced almost every field of modern intellectual activity. No other book captures the breadth of all of Benoit's accomplishments.

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Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies by Geoffrey West

From one of the most influential scientists of our time, a dazzling exploration of the hidden laws that govern the life cycle of everything from plants and animals to the cities we live in.

Visionary physicist Geoffrey West is a pioneer in the field of complexity science, the science of emergent systems and networks. The term “complexity” can be misleading, however, because what makes West’s discoveries so beautiful is that he has found an underlying simplicity that unites the seemingly complex and diverse phenomena of living systems, including our bodies, our cities and our businesses.

Fascinated by aging and mortality, West applied the rigor of a physicist to the biological question of why we live as long as we do and no longer. The result was astonishing, and changed science: West found that despite the riotous diversity in mammals, they are all, to a large degree, scaled versions of each other. If you know the size of a mammal, you can use scaling laws to learn everything from how much food it eats per day, what its heart-rate is, how long it will take to mature, its lifespan, and so on. Furthermore, the efficiency of the mammal’s circulatory systems scales up precisely based on weight: if you compare a mouse, a human and an elephant on a logarithmic graph, you find with every doubling of average weight, a species gets 25% more efficient—and lives 25% longer. Fundamentally, he has proven, the issue has to do with the fractal geometry of the networks that supply energy and remove waste from the organism’s body.

West’s work has been game-changing for biologists, but then he made the even bolder move of exploring his work’s applicability. Cities, too, are constellations of networks and laws of scalability relate with eerie precision to them. Recently, West has applied his revolutionary work to the business world. This investigation has led to powerful insights into why some companies thrive while others fail. The implications of these discoveries are far-reaching, and are just beginning to be explored. Scale is a thrilling scientific adventure story about the elemental natural laws that bind us together in simple but profound ways. Through the brilliant mind of Geoffrey West, we can envision how cities, companies and biological life alike are dancing to the same simple, powerful tune.

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Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought by Andrew W. Lo

Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought

~ Andrew W. Lo (author) More about this product
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Half of all Americans have money in the stock market, yet economists can't agree on whether investors and markets are rational and efficient, as modern financial theory assumes, or irrational and inefficient, as behavioral economists believe--and as financial bubbles, crashes, and crises suggest. This is one of the biggest debates in economics and the value or futility of investment management and financial regulation hang on the outcome. In this groundbreaking book, Andrew Lo cuts through this debate with a new framework, the Adaptive Markets Hypothesis, in which rationality and irrationality coexist.

 

Drawing on psychology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and other fields, Adaptive Markets shows that the theory of market efficiency isn't wrong but merely incomplete. When markets are unstable, investors react instinctively, creating inefficiencies for others to exploit. Lo's new paradigm explains how financial evolution shapes behavior and markets at the speed of thought--a fact revealed by swings between stability and crisis, profit and loss, and innovation and regulation.

A fascinating intellectual journey filled with compelling stories, Adaptive Markets starts with the origins of market efficiency and its failures, turns to the foundations of investor behavior, and concludes with practical implications--including how hedge funds have become the Galápagos Islands of finance, what really happened in the 2008 meltdown, and how we might avoid future crises.

An ambitious new answer to fundamental questions in economics, Adaptive Markets is essential reading for anyone who wants to know how markets really work.

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Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

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From the celebrated neurobiologist and primatologist, a landmark, genre-defining examination of human behavior, both good and bad, and an answer to the question: Why do we do the things we do?

Sapolsky's storytelling concept is delightful but it also has a powerful intrinsic logic: he starts by looking at the factors that bear on a person's reaction in the precise moment a behavior occurs, and then hops back in time from there, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its evolutionary legacy.
 
And so the first category of explanation is the neurobiological one. A behavior occurs--whether an example of humans at our best, worst, or somewhere in between. What went on in a person's brain a second before the behavior happened? Then Sapolsky pulls out to a slightly larger field of vision, a little earlier in time: What sight, sound, or smell caused the nervous system to produce that behavior? And then, what hormones acted hours to days earlier to change how responsive that individual is to the stimuli that triggered the nervous system? By now he has increased our field of vision so that we are thinking about neurobiology and the sensory world of our environment and endocrinology in trying to explain what happened.

Sapolsky keeps going: How was that behavior influenced by structural changes in the nervous system over the preceding months, by that person's adolescence, childhood, fetal life, and then back to his or her genetic makeup? Finally, he expands the view to encompass factors larger than one individual. How did culture shape that individual's group, what ecological factors millennia old formed that culture? And on and on, back to evolutionary factors millions of years old. 

The result is one of the most dazzling tours d'horizon of the science of human behavior ever attempted, a majestic synthesis that harvests cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines to provide a subtle and nuanced perspective on why we ultimately do the things we do...for good and for ill. Sapolsky builds on this understanding to wrestle with some of our deepest and thorniest questions relating to tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, and war and peace. Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, and downright heroic in its own right.

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From Matter to Life

From Matter to Life | CxBooks | Scoop.it

"From Matter to Life: Information and Causality"
Edited by Sara Imari Walker, Paul C. W. Davies and George F. R. Ellis
Cambridge University Press, 2017

Recent advances suggest that the concept of information might hold the key to unravelling the mystery of life's nature and origin. Fresh insights from a broad and authoritative range of articulate and respected experts focus on the transition from matter to life, and hence reconcile the deep conceptual schism between the way we describe physical and biological systems. A unique cross-disciplinary perspective, drawing on expertise from philosophy, biology, chemistry, physics, and cognitive and social sciences, provides a new way to look at the deepest questions of our existence. This book addresses the role of information in life, and how it can make a difference to what we know about the world. Students, researchers, and all those interested in what life is and how it began will gain insights into the nature of life and its origins that touch on nearly every domain of science.

Cambridge University Press access to PDFs: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316584200
Cambridge University Press hardcopy listing: http://bit.ly/2mcjB2t
Amazon listing: http://amzn.to/2n3Ap9i

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The elegant law that governs us all

 

A dog owner weighs twice as much as her German shepherd. Does she eat twice as much? Does a big city need twice as many gas stations as one that is half its size? Our first instinct is to say yes. But, alas, we are wrong. On a per-gram basis, a human requires about 25% less food than her dog, and the larger city needs only 85% more gas stations. As Geoffrey West explains in Scale, the reason behind these intriguing phenomena is a universal law known as allometry—the finding that as organisms, cities, and com­panies grow, many of their characteristics scale nonlinearly.

 

The elegant law that governs us all

Albert-László Barabási
Scale. Geoffrey West. Penguin Press, 2017. 490 pp.

Science  14 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6347, pp. 138
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan4040

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Why we live in hierarchies: a quantitative treatise

This book is concerned with the various aspects of hierarchical collective behaviour which is manifested by most complex systems in nature. From the many of the possible topics, we plan to present a selection of those that we think are useful from the point of shedding light from very different directions onto our quite general subject. Our intention is to both present the essential contributions by the existing approaches as well as go significantly beyond the results obtained by traditional methods by applying a more quantitative approach then the common ones (there are many books on qualitative interpretations). In addition to considering hierarchy in systems made of similar kinds of units, we shall concentrate on problems involving either dominance relations or the process of collective decision-making from various viewpoints.

 

Why we live in hierarchies: a quantitative treatise
Anna Zafeiris, Tamás Vicsek

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Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World

Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World | CxBooks | Scoop.it

No matter how old you are, there’s a good chance that the word “popular” immediately transports you back to your teenage years. Most of us can easily recall the adolescent social cliques, the high school pecking order, and which of our peers stood out as the most or the least popular teens we knew. Even as adults we all still remember exactly where we stood in the high school social hierarchy, and the powerful emotions associated with our status persist decades later. This may be for good reason.

Popular examines why popularity plays such a key role in our development and, ultimately, how it still influences our happiness and success today. In many ways—some even beyond our conscious awareness—those old dynamics of our youth continue to play out in every business meeting, every social gathering, in our personal relationships, and even how we raise our children. Our popularity even affects our DNA, our health, and our mortality in fascinating ways we never previously realized. More than childhood intelligence, family background, or prior psychological issues, research indicates that it’s how popular we were in our early years that predicts how successful and how happy we grow up to be.

But it’s not always the conventionally popular people who fare the best, for the simple reason that there is more than one type of popularity—and many of us still long for the wrong one. As children, we strive to be likable, which can offer real benefits not only on the playground but throughout our lives. In adolescence, though, a new form of popularity emerges, and we suddenly begin to care about status, power, influence, and notoriety—research indicates that this type of popularity hurts us more than we realize.
Popular relies on the latest research in psychology and neuroscience to help us make the wisest choices for ourselves and for our children, so we may all pursue more meaningful, satisfying, and rewarding relationships.

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The Book of Circles: Visualizing Spheres of Knowledge (by Manuel Lima)

The Book of Circles: Visualizing Spheres of Knowledge (by Manuel Lima) | CxBooks | Scoop.it

In this follow-up to his hugely popular The Book of Trees and Visual Complexity, Manuel Lima takes us on a lively tour through millennia of circular information design. Three hundred detailed and colorful illustrations from around the world cover an encyclopedic array of subjects--architecture, urban planning, fine art, design, fashion, technology, religion, cartography, biology, astronomy, and physics, all based on the circle, the universal symbol of unity, perfection, movement, and infinity. 


 
The Book of Circles juxtaposes clay trading tokens used by the ancient Sumerians with the iconic logos of twentieth-century corporations, a chart organizing seven hundred Nintendo offerings with a Victorian board game based on the travels of Nellie Bly, and a visual analysis of Stanley Kubrick's film The Shining with early celestial charts that placed the earth at the center of the universe, among a wealth of other elegant and intriguing methods for displaying information.

Lima provides an authoritative history of the circle as well as a unique taxonomy of twenty-one varieties of circle diagrams, rounding out this visual feast for infographics enthusiasts.
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The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - and Us

The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - and Us | CxBooks | Scoop.it

A major reimagining of how evolutionary forces work, revealing how mating preferences—what Darwin termed "the taste for the beautiful"—create the extraordinary range of ornament in the animal world.

In the great halls of science, dogma holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection explains every branch on the tree of life: which species thrive, which wither away to extinction, and what features each evolves. But can adaptation by natural selection really account for everything we see in nature?
     Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum—reviving Darwin's own views—thinks not. Deep in tropical jungles around the world are birds with a dizzying array of appearances and mating displays: Club-winged Manakins who sing with their wings, Great Argus Pheasants who dazzle prospective mates with a four-foot-wide cone of feathers covered in golden 3D spheres, Red-capped Manakins who moonwalk. In thirty years of fieldwork, Prum has seen numerous display traits that seem disconnected from, if not outright contrary to, selection for individual survival. To explain this, he dusts off Darwin's long-neglected theory of sexual selection in which the act of choosing a mate for purely aesthetic reasons—for the mere pleasure of it—is an independent engine of evolutionary change.
    Mate choice can drive ornamental traits from the constraints of adaptive evolution, allowing them to grow ever more elaborate. It also sets the stakes for sexual conflict, in which the sexual autonomy of the female evolves in response to male sexual control. Most crucially, this framework provides important insights into the evolution of human sexuality, particularly the ways in which female preferences have changed male bodies, and even maleness itself, through evolutionary time.
     The Evolution of Beauty presents a unique scientific vision for how nature's splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and of ourselves.

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Finding Fibonacci: The Quest to Rediscover the Forgotten Mathematical Genius Who Changed the World

Finding Fibonacci: The Quest to Rediscover the Forgotten Mathematical Genius Who Changed the World | CxBooks | Scoop.it

A compelling firsthand account of Keith Devlin's ten-year quest to tell Fibonacci's story

In 2000, Keith Devlin set out to research the life and legacy of the medieval mathematician Leonardo of Pisa, popularly known as Fibonacci, whose book Liber abbaci has quite literally affected the lives of everyone alive today. Although he is most famous for the Fibonacci numbers--which, it so happens, he didn't invent--Fibonacci's greatest contribution was as an expositor of mathematical ideas at a level ordinary people could understand. In 1202, Liber abbaci--the "Book of Calculation"--introduced modern arithmetic to the Western world. Yet Fibonacci was long forgotten after his death, and it was not until the 1960s that his true achievements were finally recognized.

Finding Fibonacci is Devlin's compelling firsthand account of his ten-year quest to tell Fibonacci's story. Devlin, a math expositor himself, kept a diary of the undertaking, which he draws on here to describe the project's highs and lows, its false starts and disappointments, the tragedies and unexpected turns, some hilarious episodes, and the occasional lucky breaks. You will also meet the unique individuals Devlin encountered along the way, people who, each for their own reasons, became fascinated by Fibonacci, from the Yale professor who traced modern finance back to Fibonacci to the Italian historian who made the crucial archival discovery that brought together all the threads of Fibonacci's astonishing story.

Fibonacci helped to revive the West as the cradle of science, technology, and commerce, yet he vanished from the pages of history. This is Devlin's search to find him.

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The Mathematics and Mechanics of Biological Growth

The Mathematics and Mechanics of Biological Growth | CxBooks | Scoop.it

This monograph presents a general mathematical theory for biological growth. It provides both a conceptual and a technical foundation for the understanding and analysis of problems arising in biology and physiology. The theory and methods are illustrated on a wide range of examples and applications.

A process of extreme complexity, growth plays a fundamental role in many biological processes and is considered to be the hallmark of life itself. Its description has been one of the fundamental problems of life sciences, but until recently, it has not attracted much attention from mathematicians, physicists, and engineers. The author herein presents the first major technical monograph on the problem of growth since D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s 1917 book On Growth and Form.

The emphasis of the book is on the proper mathematical formulation of growth kinematics and mechanics. Accordingly, the discussion proceeds in order of complexity and the book is divided into five parts. First, a general introduction on the problem of growth from a historical perspective is given.  Then, basic concepts are introduced within the context of growth in filamentary structures. These ideas are then generalized to surfaces and membranes and eventually to the general case of volumetric growth. The book concludes with a discussion of open problems and outstanding challenges.  

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Chaos, Information Processing and Paradoxical Games: The Legacy of John S Nicolis

Chaos, Information Processing and Paradoxical Games: The Legacy of John S Nicolis

~ Gregoire Nicolis (author) More about this product
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This volume provides a self-contained survey of the mechanisms presiding information processing and communication. The main thesis is that chaos and complexity are the basic ingredients allowing systems composed of interesting subunits to generate and process information and communicate in a meaningful way. Emphasis is placed on communication in the form of games and on the related issue of decision making under conditions of uncertainty. Biological, cognitive, physical, engineering and societal systems are approached from a unifying point of view, both analytically and by numerical simulation, using the methods of nonlinear dynamics and probability theory. Epistemological issues in connection with incompleteness and self-reference are also addressed.

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A New Kind of Science: A 15-Year View

Starting now, in celebration of its 15th anniversary, A New Kind of Science will be freely available in its entirety, with high-resolution images, on the web or for download.
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Natural Complexity: A Modeling Handbook (Primers in Complex Systems) by Paul Charbonneau

Natural Complexity: A Modeling Handbook (Primers in Complex Systems)

~ Paul Charbonneau (author) More about this product
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This book provides a short, hands-on introduction to the science of complexity using simple computational models of natural complex systems--with models and exercises drawn from physics, chemistry, geology, and biology. By working through the models and engaging in additional computational explorations suggested at the end of each chapter, readers very quickly develop an understanding of how complex structures and behaviors can emerge in natural phenomena as diverse as avalanches, forest fires, earthquakes, chemical reactions, animal flocks, and epidemic diseases.

Natural Complexity provides the necessary topical background, complete source codes in Python, and detailed explanations for all computational models. Ideal for undergraduates, beginning graduate students, and researchers in the physical and natural sciences, this unique handbook requires no advanced mathematical knowledge or programming skills and is suitable for self-learners with a working knowledge of precalculus and high-school physics.

Self-contained and accessible, Natural Complexity enables readers to identify and quantify common underlying structural and dynamical patterns shared by the various systems and phenomena it examines, so that they can form their own answers to the questions of what natural complexity is and how it arises.

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The Enigma of Reason by Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber

The Enigma of Reason

~ Dan Sperber (author) More about this product
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Reason, we are told, is what makes us human, the source of our knowledge and wisdom. If reason is so useful, why didn’t it also evolve in other animals? If reason is that reliable, why do we produce so much thoroughly reasoned nonsense? In their groundbreaking account of the evolution and workings of reason, Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber set out to solve this double enigma. Reason, they argue with a compelling mix of real-life and experimental evidence, is not geared to solitary use, to arriving at better beliefs and decisions on our own. What reason does, rather, is help us justify our beliefs and actions to others, convince them through argumentation, and evaluate the justifications and arguments that others address to us.

In other words, reason helps humans better exploit their uniquely rich social environment. This interactionist interpretation explains why reason may have evolved and how it fits with other cognitive mechanisms. It makes sense of strengths and weaknesses that have long puzzled philosophers and psychologists―why reason is biased in favor of what we already believe, why it may lead to terrible ideas and yet is indispensable to spreading good ones.

Ambitious, provocative, and entertaining, The Enigma of Reason will spark debate among psychologists and philosophers, and make many reasonable people rethink their own thinking.

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iGod: Willemijn Dicke, Dirk Helbing

iGod

~ Willemijn Dicke (author) More about this product
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iGod is a science fiction novel with heroes, love, defeat and hope. But it is much more than that. This book aims to explore how societies may develop, given the technologies that we see at present. As Dirk Helbing describes it in his introduction: We have come to the conclusion that neither a scientific study nor an investigative report would allow one to talk about certain things that, we believe, need to be thought and talked about. So, a science fiction story appeared to be the right approach. It seems the perfect way to think “what if scenarios” through. It is not the first time that this avenue has been taken. George Orwell’s “1984” and “Animal Farm” come to mind, or Dave Eggers “The Circle”. The film ‘The Matrix’ and the Netflix series ‘Black Mirror are good examples too. “iGod” outlines how life could be in a couple of years from now, certainly in our lifetime. At some places, this story about our future society seems far-fetched. For example, in “iGod”, all citizens have a Social Citizen Score. This score is established based on their buying habits, their communication in social media and social contacts they maintain. It is obtained by mass-surveillance and has a major impact on everyone's life. It determines whether you are entitled to get a loan, what jobs you are offered, and even how long you will receive medical care. The book is set in the near future in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Lex is an unemployed biologist. One day he is contacted by a computer which, gradually reveals the machinery behind the reality we see. It is a bleak world. Together with his girlfriend Diana and Seldon, a Professor at Amsterdam Tech, he starts the quest to regain freedom. Excerpt: ‘Clever way out, Lex! I did not expect your solution in this episode of the game at all. You are the first person to come up with it. This makes me curious.’ Lex looked puzzled at his screen. This direct and personal intervention was not how game managers would normally address the users of MultiLayer. Lex responded puzzled: ‘Who, who are you?’ ‘I thought you would never ask’ – a low, raspy but still velvety feminine voice sounded in his apartment. Lex checked where the sound came from. If he was not mistaken, the voice employed the same sound devices he used for his games and his communication with the SmartHouseProgram. ‘I like to call myself “I am”. I am the mastermind behind what happens in the world.’ Lex was too surprised to respond. ‘Or, to put it more down to earth: I am the Artificial Intelligence behind your MultiLayer game and behind your SmartHouseProgram and a lot more things... This should suffice for the moment’, the low voice continued. Lex got up and paced from one corner to the other. ‘Wow. Did I get it right? You are a female AI system that was all the time hidden in my MultiLayer game and my SmartHouseProgram?’ ‘Well, whatever you prefer. I can also express myself like this…’ Lex heard a male voice. ‘Ok, I got it. You are trying to create the impression of an Artificial Intelligence system making fun of me. But how do I know that someone didn’t just hack the sound system of my SmartHouseProgram?’ ‘So far, so good, Lex.’ She switched back to the mature female voice again, much to Lex’ approval. ‘You are a smart guy, and you will get to know me better. Trust me – you will soon know that I am more than just a hack or a computer program. At this moment I will need your trust and patience – as in any relation.’ ‘I am neither strong in the trust part nor in the patience part.’ ‘Let’s give it a try, Lex. I am sure your curiosity will win.’ ‘You seem to know me well. But in order to be able to relate to you, I need to know your name.’ ‘ “Universal program” or “Singularity” does not do the trick, I presume?’ the voice asked coyly. ‘Not really, no.’ ‘You humans are so romantic – as if a name would change anything. I am known under many different names. What is your name for someone who is present everywhere and who knows everything?’

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