We now live in a world obsessed with data, in which paper and pencil have been traded for code and algorithms. As a result, we often spend less time getting a feel for problems we are tackling than we would have 35 years ago. It was therefore very refreshing to read a book that encourages the reader to do just that. The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering acts as a step-by-step guide that enables the reader to tackle fundamental scientific problems through simple back-of-the-envelope calculations. The main objective of the book is not to promote a thorough understanding of an underlying theory or to allow us to come to an exact solution but rather to encourage us to use our instincts and knowledge of the fundamental concepts to come to an approximate and reasonable solution. “Approximate first, and worry later,” says the book's author, Sanjoy Mahajan. “Otherwise you never start, and you can never learn that the approximations would have been accurate enough—if only you had gathered the courage to make them.”
Seeing the forest for the trees Sybil Derrible Review of "The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering: Mastering Complexity", by Sanjoy Mahajan, MIT Press, 2014. 408 pp.
Complex networks such as the Internet, transportation networks, power grids, biological neural networks, and scientific cooperation networks of all kinds provide challenges for future technological development.
• The first systematic presentation of dynamical evolving networks, with many up-to-date applications and homework projects to enhance study • Complex networks are becoming an increasingly important area of research • Presented in a logical, constructive style, from basic through to complex, examining algorithms, through to construct networks and research challenges of the future
Your cell phone provider tracks your location and knows who’s with you. Your online and in-store purchasing patterns are recorded, and reveal if you're unemployed, sick, or pregnant. Your e-mails and texts expose your intimate and casual friends. Google knows what you’re thinking because it saves your private searches. Facebook can determine your sexual orientation without you ever mentioning it.
The powers that surveil us do more than simply store this information. Corporations use surveillance to manipulate not only the news articles and advertisements we each see, but also the prices we’re offered. Governments use surveillance to discriminate, censor, chill free speech, and put people in danger worldwide. And both sides share this information with each other or, even worse, lose it to cybercriminals in huge data breaches.
Much of this is voluntary: we cooperate with corporate surveillance because it promises us convenience, and we submit to government surveillance because it promises us protection. The result is a mass surveillance society of our own making. But have we given up more than we’ve gained? In Data and Goliath, security expert Bruce Schneier offers another path, one that values both security and privacy.
The history of public health has focused on direct relationships between problems and solutions: vaccinations against diseases, ad campaigns targeting risky behaviors. But the accelerating pace and mounting intricacies of our lives are challenging the field to find new scientific methods for studying community health. The complexities of place (COP) approach is emerging as one such promising method.
Place and Health as Complex Systems demonstrates how COP works, making an empirical case for its use in for designing and implementing interventions. This brief resource reviews the defining characteristics of places as dynamic and evolving social systems, rigorously testing them as well as the COP approach itself. The study, of twenty communities within one county in the Midwest, combines case-based methods and complexity science to determine whether COP improves upon traditional statistical methods of public health research. Its conclusions reveal strengths and limitations of the approach, immediate possibilities for its use, and challenges regarding future research. Included in the coverage:
Characteristics of places and the complexities of place approach.
In an age of information overload, the ability to make sense of vast amounts of data and to render insightful visualizations is as important as the ability to read and write. The Atlas of Knowledge explains and exemplifies the power of visualizations not only to help locate us in physical space but also to help us understand the extent and structure of our collective knowledge, to identify bursts of activity, pathways of ideas, and borders that beg to be crossed.
The interactions between Computer Science and the Social Sciences have grown fruitfully along the past 20 years. The mutual benefits of such a cross-fertilization stand as well at a conceptual, technological or methodological level. Economics in particular benefited from innovations in multi-agent systems in Computer Science leading to agent-based computational economics and in return the multi-agent systems benefited for instance of economic researches related to mechanisms of incentives and regulation to design self-organized systems.
We live in a world unimaginable only decades ago: a domain of backlit screens, instant information, and vibrant experiences that can outcompete dreary reality. Our brave new technologies offer incredible opportunities for work and play. But at what price?
Now renowned neuroscientist Susan Greenfield brings together a range of scientific studies, news events, and cultural criticism to create an incisive snapshot of “the global now.” Disputing the assumption that our technologies are harmless tools, Greenfield explores whether incessant exposure to social media sites, search engines, and videogames is capable of rewiring our brains, and whether the minds of people born before and after the advent of the Internet differ.
Stressing the impact on Digital Natives—those who’ve never known a world without the Internet—Greenfield exposes how neuronal networking may be affected by unprecedented bombardments of audiovisual stimuli, how gaming can shape a chemical landscape in the brain similar to that in gambling addicts, how surfing the Net risks placing a premium on information rather than on deep knowledge and understanding, and how excessive use of social networking sites limits the maturation of empathy and identity.
But Mind Change also delves into the potential benefits of our digital lifestyle. Sifting through the cocktail of not only threat but opportunity these technologies afford, Greenfield explores how gaming enhances vision and motor control, how touch tablets aid students with developmental disabilities, and how political “clicktivism” foments positive change.
In a world where adults spend ten hours a day online, and where tablets are the common means by which children learn and play, Mind Change reveals as never before the complex physiological, social, and cultural ramifications of living in the digital age. A book that will be to the Internet what An Inconvenient Truth was to global warming, Mind Change is provocative, alarming, and a call to action to ensure a future in which technology fosters—not frustrates—deep thinking, creativity, and true fulfillment.
Technological advances have benefited our world in immeasurable ways, but there is an ominous flip side: our technology can be turned against us. Hackers can activate baby monitors to spy on families, thieves are analyzing social media posts to plot home invasions, and stalkers are exploiting the GPS on smart phones to track their victims’ every move. We all know today’s criminals can steal identities, drain online bank accounts, and wipe out computer servers, but that’s just the beginning. To date, no computer has been created that could not be hacked—a sobering fact given our radical dependence on these machines for everything from our nation’s power grid to air traffic control to financial services. Yet, as ubiquitous as technology seems today, just over the horizon is a tidal wave of scientific progress that will leave our heads spinning. If today’s Internet is the size of a golf ball, tomorrow’s will be the size of the sun. Welcome to the Internet of Things, a living, breathing, global information grid where every physical object will be online. But with greater connections come greater risks. Implantable medical devices such as pacemakers can be hacked to deliver a lethal jolt of electricity and a car’s brakes can be disabled at high speed from miles away. Meanwhile, 3-D printers can produce AK-47s, bioterrorists can download the recipe for Spanish flu, and cartels are using fleets of drones to ferry drugs across borders. With explosive insights based upon a career in law enforcement and counterterrorism, Marc Goodman takes readers on a vivid journey through the darkest recesses of the Internet. Reading like science fiction, but based in science fact, Future Crimes explores how bad actors are primed to hijack the technologies of tomorrow, including robotics, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. These fields hold the power to create a world of unprecedented abundance and prosperity. But the technological bedrock upon which we are building our common future is deeply unstable and, like a house of cards, can come crashing down at any moment. Future Crimes provides a mind-blowing glimpse into the dark side of technological innovation and the unintended consequences of our connected world. Goodman offers a way out with clear steps we must take to survive the progress unfolding before us. Provocative, thrilling, and ultimately empowering, Future Crimes will serve as an urgent call to action that shows how we can take back control over our own devices and harness technology’s tremendous power for the betterment of humanity—before it’s too late.
John Holland is one of the few scientists, who all by themselves and by their pursuits, helped change the course of science and the wealth of human knowledge. There is hardly a field of science or problems, that is not affected by John's work on complexity and in particular, complex adaptive systems. On the occasion of his 85th birthday, many of his friends wrote about John, about facets of this remarkable man that only people close to him can know and tell.
This book collects those stories highlighting aspects of the creation of complexity science that will most likely not be found in the books on John's works.
The stories and anecdotes about his quests, his collaborators, and his friends, show his incredible mind, his boyish curiosity and explorative energy, his philosophy of life, his enormous hospitality and natural inclination to make friends.
One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?
Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.
Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?
Cosmology is in crisis. The more we discover, the more puzzling the universe appears to be. How and why are the laws of nature what they are? A philosopher and a physicist, world-renowned for their radical ideas in their fields, argue for a revolution. To keep cosmology scientific, we must replace the old view in which the universe is governed by immutable laws by a new one in which laws evolve. Then we can hope to explain them. The revolution that Roberto Mangabeira Unger and Lee Smolin propose relies on three central ideas. There is only one universe at a time. Time is real: everything in the structure and regularities of nature changes sooner or later. Mathematics, which has trouble with time, is not the oracle of nature and the prophet of science; it is simply a tool with great power and immense limitations. The argument is readily accessible to non-scientists as well as to the physicists and cosmologists whom it challenges.
How is it that one system is more effective, appealing, satisfying and/or more beautiful than another to its stakeholder community? This question drove Christopher Alexander’s fifty-year quest to explain great physical architecture and gave birth to pattern-languages for building that underpin much of modern systems engineering. How is it that so many individual stakeholders consistently recognize the same quality, the same beauty in a system? This question led George Lakoff to research the role of conceptual metaphor in human understanding. What is essential to stakeholders’ satisfaction with systems? Fred Brooks, in his publications, addressed this question. This monograph fuses these diverse streams of thought in proposing Thriving Systems Theory by translating Alexander’s properties of physical design quality into the abstract domain of information systems and modeling. Metaphor-Driven Modeling incorporates the theory while examining its impact throughout the system life cycle: modeling, design and deployment. The result is holistic and innovative, a perspective on system quality invaluable to students, practitioners and researchers of software and systems engineering.
Network science is a significant pathway into understanding many kinds of Big Data. Since its inceptions during the late 20th century it has been increasing its relevance to people's everyday life. Networks can help us to make sense of this increasingly complex world, making it a useful literacy for people living in the 21st century.
Why do we grow up to look, act, and feel as we do? Through most of the twentieth century, scientists and laypeople answered this question by referring to two factors alone: our experiences and our genes. But recent discoveries about how genes work have revealed a new way to understand the developmental origins of our characteristics. These discoveries have emerged from the new science of behavioral epigenetics--and just as the whole world has now heard of DNA, "epigenetics" will be a household word in the near future.
Behavioral epigenetics is important because it explains how our experiences get under our skin and influence the activity of our genes. Because of breakthroughs in this field, we now know that the genes we're born with don't determine if we'll end up easily stressed, likely to fall ill with cancer, or possessed of a powerful intellect. Instead, what matters is what our genes do. And because research in behavioral epigenetics has shown that our experiences influence how our genes function, this work has changed how scientists think about nature, nurture, and human development. Diets, environmental toxins, parenting styles, and other environmental factors all influence genetic activity through epigenetic mechanisms; this discovery has the potential to alter how doctors treat diseases, and to change how mental health professionals treat conditions from schizophrenia to post-traumatic stress disorder. These advances could also force a reworking of the theory of evolution that dominated twentieth-century biology, and even change how we think about human nature itself.
In spite of the importance of this research, behavioral epigenetics is still relatively unknown to non-biologists. The Developing Genome is an introduction to this exciting new discipline; it will allow readers without a background in biology to learn about this work and its revolutionary implications.
Disaster Theory: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Concepts and Causes offers the theoretical background needed to understand what disasters are and why they occur. Drawing on related disciplines, including sociology, risk theory, and seminal research on disasters and emergency management, Disaster Theory clearly lays out the conceptual framework of the emerging field of disaster studies. Tailored to the needs of advanced undergraduates and graduate students, this unique text also provides an ideal capstone for students who have already been introduced to the fundamentals of emergency management. Disaster Theory emphasizes the application of critical thinking in understanding disasters and their causes by synthesizing a wide range of information on theory and practice, including input from leading scholars in the field.
Offers the first cohesive depiction of disaster theory
Incorporates material from leading thinkers in the field, as well as student exercises and critical thinking questions, making this a rich resource for advanced courses
Written from an international perspective and includes case studies of disasters and hazards from around the world for comparing the leading models of emergency response
Challenges the reader to think critically about important questions in disaster management from various points of view
The power of network science, the beauty of network visualization. Network Science, a textbook for network science, is freely available under the Creative Commons licence. Follow its development on Facebook, Twitter or by signining up to our mailing list, so that we can notify you of new chapters and developments. The book is the result of a collaboration between a number of individuals, shaping everything, from content (Albert-László Barabási), to visualizations and interactive tools (Gabriele Musella, Mauro Martino, Nicole Samay, Kim Albrecht), simulations and data analysis (Márton Pósfai). The printed version of the book will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2015. In the coming months the website will be expanded with an interactive version of the text, datasets, and slides to teach the material.
Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies [Cesar Hidalgo] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. What is economic growth? And why, historically, has it occurred in only a few places? Previous efforts to answer these questions have focused on institutions
A masterful commentary on the history of science from the Greeks to modern times, by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg—a thought-provoking and important book by one of the most distinguished scientists and intellectuals of our time.
In this rich, irreverent, and compelling history, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg takes us across centuries from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad and Oxford, from Plato’s Academy and the Museum of Alexandria to the cathedral school of Chartres and the Royal Society of London. He shows that the scientists of ancient and medieval times not only did not understand what we understand about the world—they did not understand what there is to understand, or how to understand it. Yet over the centuries, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as the curious backward movement of the planets and the rise and fall of the tides, the modern discipline of science eventually emerged. Along the way, Weinberg examines historic clashes and collaborations between science and the competing spheres of religion, technology, poetry, mathematics, and philosophy.
Bitcoin became a buzzword overnight. A cyber-enigma with an enthusiastic following, it pops up in headlines and fuels endless media debate. You can apparently use it to buy anything from coffee to cars, yet few people seem to truly understand what it is. This raises the question: Why should anyone care about bitcoin?
In The Age of Cryptocurrency, Wall Street journalists Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey deliver the definitive answer to this question. Cybermoney is poised to launch a revolution, one that could reinvent traditional financial and social structures while bringing the world's billions of "unbanked" individuals into a new global economy. Cryptocurrency holds the promise of a financial system without a middleman, one owned by the people who use it and one safeguarded from the devastation of a 2008-type crash.
But bitcoin, the most famous of the cybermonies, carries a reputation for instability, wild fluctuation, and illicit business; some fear it has the power to eliminate jobs and to upend the concept of a nation-state. It implies, above all, monumental and wide-reaching change—for better and for worse. But it is here to stay, and you ignore it at your peril.
Vigna and Casey demystify cryptocurrency—its origins, its function, and what you need to know to navigate a cyber-economy.
Cooperative game theory deals with situations where objectives of participants of the game are partially cooperative and partially conflicting. It is in the interest of participants to cooperate in the sense of making binding agreements to achieve the maximum possible benefit. When it comes to distribution of benefit/payoffs, participants have conflicting interests. Such situations are usually modelled as cooperative games. While the book mainly discusses transferable utility games, there is also a brief analysis of non-transferable utility games. Alternative solution concepts to cooperative game theoretic problems are presented in chapters 1-9 and the next four chapters present issues related to computations of solutions discussed in the earlier chapters. The proofs of all results presented in the book are quite explicit. Additionally the mathematical techniques employed in demonstrating the results will be helpful to those who wish to learn application of mathematics for solving problems in game theory.
Attempts to understand various aspects of the empirical world often rely on modelling processes that involve a reconstruction of systems under investigation. Typically the reconstruction uses mathematical frameworks like gauge theory and renormalization group methods, but more recently simulations also have become an indispensable tool for investigation.
This book is a philosophical examination of techniques and assumptions related to modelling and simulation with the goal of showing how these abstract descriptions can contribute to our understanding of the physical world. Particular issues include the role of fictional models in science, how mathematical formalisms can yield physical information, and how we should approach the use of inconsistent models for specific types of systems. It also addresses the role of simulation, specifically the conditions under which simulation can be seen as a technique for measurement, replacing more traditional experimental approaches. Inherent worries about the legitimacy of simulation "knowledge" are also addressed, including an analysis of verification and validation and the role of simulation data in the search for the Higgs boson. In light of the significant role played by simulation in the Large Hadron Collider experiments, it is argued that the traditional distinction between simulation and experiment is no longer applicable in some contexts of modern science. Consequently, a re-evaluation of the way and extent to which simulation delivers empirical knowledge is required.
How does our brain generate a conscious thought? And why does so much of our knowledge remain unconscious? Thanks to clever psychological and brain-imaging experiments, scientists are closer to cracking this mystery than ever before.
In this lively book, Stanislas Dehaene describes the pioneering work his lab and the labs of other cognitive neuroscientists worldwide have accomplished in defining, testing, and explaining the brain events behind a conscious state. We can now pin down the neurons that fire when a person reports becoming aware of a piece of information and understand the crucial role unconscious computations play in how we make decisions. The emerging theory enables a test of consciousness in animals, babies, and those with severe brain injuries.
A joyous exploration of the mind and its thrilling complexities, Consciousness and the Brain will excite anyone interested in cutting-edge science and technology and the vast philosophical, personal, and ethical implications of finally quantifying consciousness.
An unprecedented look at the quest to unravel the mysteries of the human brain, The Future of the Brain takes readers to the absolute frontiers of science. Original essays by leading researchers such as Christof Koch, George Church, Olaf Sporns, and May-Britt and Edvard Moser describe the spectacular technological advances that will enable us to map the more than eighty-five billion neurons in the brain, as well as the challenges that lie ahead in understanding the anticipated deluge of data and the prospects for building working simulations of the human brain. A must-read for anyone trying to understand ambitious new research programs such as the Obama administration's BRAIN Initiative and the European Union's Human Brain Project, The Future of the Brain sheds light on the breathtaking implications of brain science for medicine, psychiatry, and even human consciousness itself.
Contributors include: Misha Ahrens, Ned Block, Matteo Carandini, George Church, John Donoghue, Chris Eliasmith, Simon Fisher, Mike Hawrylycz, Sean Hill, Christof Koch, Leah Krubitzer, Michel Maharbiz, Kevin Mitchell, Edvard Moser, May-Britt Moser, David Poeppel, Krishna Shenoy, Olaf Sporns, Anthony Zador.
Hermann Haken (born 1927) is one of the “fathers” of the quantum-mechanical laser theory, formulated between 1962 and 1966, in strong competition with American researchers. Later on, he created Synergetics, the science of cooperation in multicomponent systems.
The book concentrates on the development of his scientific work during the first thirty-five years of his career.
In 1970 he and his doctoral student Robert Graham were able to show that the laser is an example of a nonlinear system far from thermal equilibrium that shows a phase-transition like behavior. Subsequently, this insight opened the way for the formulation of Synergetics.
Synergetics is able to explain, how very large systems show the phenomenon of self-organization that can be mathematically described by only very few order parameters. The results of Haken’s research were published in two seminal books Synergetics (1977) and AdvancedSynergetics (1983). After the year 1985 Haken concentrated his research on the macroscopic foundation of Synergetics. This led him towards the application of synergetic principles in medicine, cognitive research and, finally, in psychology.
A comprehensive bibliography of Hermann Haken’s publications (nearly 600 numbers) is included in the book.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.