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How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking (by Jordan Ellenberg)

How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

~ Jordan Ellenberg (author) More about this product
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The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do—the whole world is shot through with it.
 
Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer?
 
How Not to Be Wrong presents the surprising revelations behind all of these questions and many more, using the mathematician’s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman—minus the jargon. Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, and the existence of God.
 
Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how.

 

 

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Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World (by Mark Miodownik)

Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World

~ Mark Miodownik (author) More about this product
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Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does a paper clip bend? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These are the sorts of questions that Mark Miodownik is constantly asking himself. A globally-renowned materials scientist, Miodownik has spent his life exploring objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world. In Stuff Matters, Miodownik entertainingly examines the materials he encounters in a typical morning, from the steel in his razor and the graphite in his pencil to the foam in his sneakers and the concrete in a nearby skyscraper. He offers a compendium of the most astounding histories and marvelous scientific breakthroughs in the material world. From the teacup to the jet engine, the silicon chip to the paper clip, the plastic in our appliances to the elastic in our underpants, our lives are overflowing with materials. Full of enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our lives, Stuff Matters will make you see stuff in a whole new way.

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Evolution: Components and Mechanisms (by David Zeigler)

Evolution: Components and Mechanisms

~ David Zeigler (author) More about this product
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This book introduces the many recent discoveries and insights that have added to the discipline of organic evolution, and combines them with the key topics needed to gain a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of evolution. Each chapter covers an important topic or factor pertinent to a modern understanding of evolutionary theory, allowing easy access to particular topics for either study or review. Many chapters are cross-referenced.

Modern evolutionary theory has expanded significantly within only the past two to three decades. In recent times the definition of a gene has evolved, the definition of organic evolution itself is in need of some modification, the number of known mechanisms of evolutionary change has increased dramatically, and the emphasis placed on opportunity and contingency has increased. This book synthesizes these changes and presents many of the novel topics in evolutionary theory in an accessible and thorough format.

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A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History (by Nicholas Wade)

A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History

~ Nicholas Wade (author) More about this product
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Drawing on startling new evidence from the mapping of the genome, an explosive new account of the genetic basis of race and its role in the human story
 
Fewer ideas have been more toxic or harmful than the idea of the biological reality of race, and with it the idea that humans of different races are biologically different from one another. For this understandable reason, the idea has been banished from polite academic conversation. Arguing that race is more than just a social construct can get a scholar run out of town, or at least off campus, on a rail. Human evolution, the consensus view insists, ended in prehistory.

Inconveniently, as Nicholas Wade argues in A Troublesome Inheritance, the consensus view cannot be right. And in fact, we know that populations have changed in the past few thousand years—to be lactose tolerant, for example, and to survive at high altitudes. Race is not a bright-line distinction; by definition it means that the more human populations are kept apart, the more they evolve their own distinct traits under the selective pressure known as Darwinian evolution. For many thousands of years, most human populations stayed where they were and grew distinct, not just in outward appearance but in deeper senses as well.

Wade, the longtime journalist covering genetic advances for The New York Times, draws widely on the work of scientists who have made crucial breakthroughs in establishing the reality of recent human evolution. The most provocative claims in this book involve the genetic basis of human social habits. What we might call middle-class social traits—thrift, docility, nonviolence—have been slowly but surely inculcated genetically within agrarian societies, Wade argues. These “values” obviously had a strong cultural component, but Wade points to evidence that agrarian societies evolved away from hunter-gatherer societies in some crucial respects. Also controversial are his findings regarding the genetic basis of traits we associate with intelligence, such as literacy and numeracy, in certain ethnic populations, including the Chinese and Ashkenazi Jews.

Wade believes deeply in the fundamental equality of all human peoples. He also believes that science is best served by pursuing the truth without fear, and if his mission to arrive at a coherent summa of what the new genetic science does and does not tell us about race and human history leads straight into a minefield, then so be it. This will not be the last word on the subject, but it will begin a powerful and overdue conversation.
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The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision (by Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi)

The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision

~ Pier Luigi Luisi (author) More about this product
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Over the past thirty years, a new systemic conception of life has emerged at the forefront of science. New emphasis has been given to complexity, networks, and patterns of organisation leading to a novel kind of 'systemic' thinking. This volume integrates the ideas, models, and theories underlying the systems view of life into a single coherent framework. Taking a broad sweep through history and across scientific disciplines, the authors examine the appearance of key concepts such as autopoiesis, dissipative structures, social networks, and a systemic understanding of evolution. The implications of the systems view of life for health care, management, and our global ecological and economic crises are also discussed. Written primarily for undergraduates, it is also essential reading for graduate students and researchers interested in understanding the new systemic conception of life and its implications for a broad range of professions - from economics and politics to medicine, psychology and law.

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Liz Rykert's curator insight, May 26, 2014 10:43 AM

Looking forward to this book. Friitjof Capra is an accessible writer  who was one of the people to really get me thinking about seeing whith a whole systems lens.

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Of Ants and Men: The Unexpected Side Effects of Complexity in Society (by David G. Green)

Of Ants and Men: The Unexpected Side Effects of Complexity in Society (Green Energy and Technology)

~ David G. Green (author) More about this product
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Why do things go wrong? Why, despite all the planning and care in the world, do things go from bad to worse? This book argues that it is because we are like the ants. Just as ants create an anthill without being aware of it, unintended side effects of human activity create all manner of social trends and crises. The book traces the way these trends emerge and the role they play in some of the major issues of our time. One of the greatest challenges today is the complexity of our social and economic systems. Every action has side effects that people often ignore or fail to see. The book examines the ways in which limitations in our thinking and behaviour lead to unintended side effects. It looks at the role played by complex networks of interactions. Finally, it looks at the way side effects of new technologies, especially computers and communication, have created an Information Revolution, the full repercussions of which are yet to be seen. In our race to create new technologies and sustain indefinite economic growth, we are at best dimly aware of the ways in which we are transforming society and threatening our environment.

 

 

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Complexity Science: The Warwick Master's Course (by Robin Ball, Vassili Kolokoltsov & Robert S. MacKay)

Complexity science is the study of systems with many interdependent components. Such systems - and the self-organization and emergent phenomena they manifest - lie at the heart of many challenges of global importance. This book is a coherent introduction to the mathematical methods used to understand complexity, with plenty of examples and real-world applications. It starts with the crucial concepts of self-organization and emergence, then tackles complexity in dynamical systems using differential equations and chaos theory. Several classes of models of interacting particle systems are studied with techniques from stochastic analysis, followed by a treatment of the statistical mechanics of complex systems. Further topics include numerical analysis of PDEs, and applications of stochastic methods in economics and finance. The book concludes with introductions to space-time phases and selfish routing. The exposition is suitable for researchers, practitioners and students in complexity science and related fields at advanced undergraduate level and above.

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The Fourth Revolution: How the infosphere is reshaping human reality: Luciano Floridi

The Fourth Revolution: How the infosphere is reshaping human reality

~ Luciano Floridi (author) More about this product
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Who are we, and how do we relate to each other? Luciano Floridi, one of the leading figures in contemporary philosophy, argues that the explosive developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is changing the answer to these fundamental human questions.

As the boundaries between life online and offline break down, and we become seamlessly connected to each other and surrounded by smart, responsive objects, we are all becoming integrated into an "infosphere". Personas we adopt in social media, for example, feed into our 'real' lives so that we begin to live, as Floridi puts in, "onlife". Following those led by Copernicus, Darwin, and Freud, this metaphysical shift represents nothing less than a fourth revolution.


The Fourth Revolution: How the infosphere is reshaping human reality Hardcover
by Luciano Floridi

http://tinyurl.com/kh3bkxr

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Jane Austen, Game Theorist (by Michael Suk-Young Chwe)

Jane Austen, Game Theorist

~ Michael Suk-Young Chwe (author) More about this product
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Game theory--the study of how people make choices while interacting with others--is one of the most popular technical approaches in social science today. But as Michael Chwe reveals in his insightful new book, Jane Austen explored game theory's core ideas in her six novels roughly two hundred years ago--over a century before its mathematical development during the Cold War. Jane Austen, Game Theorist shows how this beloved writer theorized choice and preferences, prized strategic thinking, and analyzed why superiors are often strategically clueless about inferiors. Exploring a diverse range of literature and folktales, this book illustrates the wide relevance of game theory and how, fundamentally, we are all strategic thinkers.

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Systemic Risk: The Dynamics of Modern Financial Systems (by Prasanna Gai)

Systemic Risk: The Dynamics of Modern Financial Systems

Product by Brand: Oxford University Press, USA ~ Prasanna Gai (author) More about this product
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This book opens new ground in the study of financial crises. It treats the financial system as a complex adaptive system and shows how lessons from network disciplines - such as ecology, epidemiology, and statistical mechanics - shed light on our understanding of financial stability. Using tools from network theory and economics, it suggests that financial systems are robust-yet-fragile, with knife-edge properties that are greatly exacerbated by the hoarding of funds and the fire sale of assets by banks. The book studies the damaging network consequences of the failure of large inter-connected institutions, explains how key funding markets can seize up across the entire financial system, and shows how the pursuit of secured finance by banks in the wake of the global financial crisis can generate systemic risks. The insights are then used to model banking systems calibrated to data to illustrate how financial sector regulators are beginning to quantify financial system stress.

 

 

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Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives - and Our Lives Change Our Genes (by Sharon Moalem MD PhD)

Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives--and Our Lives Change Our Genes

~ Sharon Moalem MD PhD (author) More about this product
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Conventional wisdom dictates that our genetic destiny is fixed at conception. But Dr. Moalem's groundbreaking book shows us that the human genome is far more fluid. By bringing us to the bedside of his unique and complex patients, he masterfully demonstrates what rare genetic conditions can teach us all about our own health and well-being. Drawing on bleeding-edge science and sometimes heartbreaking stories of individuals he’s treated for rare genetic anomalies, Moalem explains how your DNA’s constant shape-shifting is “mediated and orchestrated by how you live, where you live, the stresses you face, and the things you consume.”

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The Homing Instinct: Meaning and Mystery in Animal Migration (by Bernd Heinrich)

The Homing Instinct: Meaning and Mystery in Animal Migration

~ Bernd Heinrich (author) More about this product
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Heinrich explores the fascinating science chipping away at the mysteries of animal migration: how geese imprint true visual landscape memory; how scent trails are used by many creatures, from fish to insects to amphibians, to pinpoint their home if they are displaced from it; and how the tiniest of songbirds are equipped for solar and magnetic orienteering over vast distances. Most movingly, Heinrich chronicles the spring return of a pair of sandhill cranes to their home pond in the Alaska tundra. With his trademark “marvelous, mind-altering” prose (Los Angeles Times), he portrays the unmistakable signs of deep psychological emotion in the newly arrived birds—and reminds us that to discount our own emotions toward home is to ignore biology itself.

 

 

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Life Unfolding: How the Human Body Creates Itself (by Jamie A. Davies)

Life Unfolding: How the Human Body Creates Itself

~ Jamie A. Davies (author) More about this product
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Where did I come from? Why do I have two arms but just one head? How is my left leg the same size as my right one? Why are the fingerprints of identical twins not identical? How did my brain learn to learn? Why must I die?

Questions like these remain biology's deepest and most ancient challenges. They force us to confront a fundamental biological problem: how can something as large and complex as a human body organize itself from the simplicity of a fertilized egg? A convergence of ideas from embryology, genetics, physics, networks, and control theory has begun to provide real answers. Based on the central principle of 'adaptive self-organization,' it explains how the interactions of many cells, and of the tiny molecular machines that run them, can organize tissue structures vastly larger than themselves, correcting errors as they go along and creating new layers of complexity where there were none before.

Life Unfolding tells the story of human development from egg to adult, from this perspective, showing how our whole understanding of how we come to be has been transformed in recent years. Highlighting how embryological knowledge is being used to understand why bodies age and fail, Jamie A. Davies explores the profound and fascinating impacts of our newfound knowledge.

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Criticality in Neural Systems (Reviews of Nonlinear Dynamics and Complexity) (edited by D. Plenz, E. Niebur & H.G. Schuster)

This volume provides the first comprehensive account of the recent cross-fertilization between neuroscience and the interdisciplinary science of criticality. The firework of insights that this interaction has sparked ranges from studies of isolated neuronal networks to a deep understanding of results of the most advanced imaging of the human brain.

The origins of this book lie in a series of experimental findings predicted by criticality theory, of which the discovery of ‘neuronal avalanches’ at the National Institute of Mental Health in 2001 was particularly influential. Avalanches are cascades of events that emerge in systems at a critical point, where order and disorder are perfectly balanced. At criticality, the sizes of avalanches in the brain are distributed according to a power law, which establishes a direct link to the theory of critical branching processes and the theory of self-organized criticality introduced by Per Bak and his co-workers in the early nineties. These experiments also tied together earlier work by Arnold Mandell, Scott Kelso, Walter Freeman, Dante Chialvo and others on neuronal phenomena such as critical slowing down in motor program switching, intermittency/variability in neuronal populations, and learning by mistakes at the network level. Over the past decade, the field has experienced rapid expansion with a flurry of new results, both experimental and theoretical. These results, coming from a correspondingly increasing number of researchers, have been published in a variety of journals, as might be expected for a topic at the intersection of two very different fields (the theory of critical phenomena on one side, and neuroscience on the other), both of which are interdisciplinary by themselves. There was, however, not a single place where these various results are shown in context and related to each other.

 

 

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Samir's curator insight, June 3, 2014 11:52 PM

Is the brain poised at criticality? This book reviews all recent results on this interdisciplinary topic between neuroscience and statistical physics.

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Complex Networks V: Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Complex Networks CompleNet 2014 (edited by Pierluigi Contucci et al.)

A network is a mathematical object consisting of a set of points that are connected to each other in some fashion by lines. It turns out this simple description corresponds to a bewildering array of systems in the real world, ranging from technological ones such as the Internet and World Wide Web, biological networks such as that of connections of the nervous systems, food webs, or  protein interactions, infrastructural systems such as networks of roads, airports or the power-grid, to patterns of social and professional relationships such as friendship, sex partners, network of Hollywood actors, co-authorship networks and many more.

Recent years have witnessed a substantial amount of interest within the scientific community in the properties of these networks. The emergence of the internet in particular, coupled with the widespread availability of inexpensive computing resources has facilitated studies ranging from large scale empirical analysis of networks in the real world, to the development of theoretical models and tools to explore the various properties of these systems. The study of networks is broadly interdisciplinary and central developments have occurred in many fields, including mathematics, physics, computer and information sciences, biology, and the social sciences.

This book brings together a collection of cutting-edge research in the field from a diverse array of researchers ranging from physicists to social scientists, and presents them in a coherent fashion, highlighting the strong interconnections between the different areas. Topics included are social networks and social media, opinion and innovation diffusion,  biological and health-related networks, language networks, as well as network theory, community detection,  or growth models for Complex Networks.

 

 

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The Long and the Short of It: The Science of Life Span and Aging (by Jonathan Silvertown)

The Long and the Short of It: The Science of Life Span and Aging

Product by Brand: University Of Chicago Press ~ Jonathan Silvertown (author) More about this product
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Everything that lives will die. That’s the fundamental fact of life. But not everyone dies at the same age: people vary wildly in their patterns of aging and their life spans—and that variation is nothing compared to what’s found in other animal and plant species. A giant fungus found in Michigan has been alive since the Ice Age, while a dragonfly lives but four months, a mayfly half an hour. What accounts for these variations—and what can we learn from them that might help us understand, or better manage, our own aging?


With The Long and the Short of It, biologist and writer Jonathan Silvertown offers readers a witty and fascinating tour through the scientific study of longevity and aging. Dividing his daunting subject by theme—death, life span, aging, heredity, evolution, and more—Silvertown draws on the latest scientific developments to paint a picture of what we know about how life span, senescence, and death vary within and across species. At every turn, he addresses fascinating questions that have far-reaching implications: What causes aging, and what determines the length of an individual life? What changes have caused the average human life span to increase so dramatically—fifteen minutes per hour—in the past two centuries? If evolution favors those who leave the most descendants, why haven’t we evolved to be immortal? The answers to these puzzles and more emerge from close examination of the whole natural history of life span and aging, from fruit flies, nematodes, redwoods, and much more.

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In Search of the True Universe: The Tools, Shaping, and Cost of Cosmological Thought (by Martin Harwit)

In Search of the True Universe: The Tools, Shaping, and Cost of Cosmological Thought

~ Martin Harwit (author) More about this product
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Astrophysicist and scholar Martin Harwit examines how our understanding of the Cosmos advanced rapidly during the twentieth century and identifies the factors contributing to this progress. Astronomy, whose tools were largely imported from physics and engineering, benefited mid-century from the U.S. policy of coupling basic research with practical national priorities. This strategy, initially developed for military and industrial purposes, provided astronomy with powerful tools yielding access - at virtually no cost - to radio, infrared, X-ray, and gamma-ray observations. Today, astronomers are investigating the new frontiers of dark matter and dark energy, critical to understanding the Cosmos but of indeterminate socio-economic promise. Harwit addresses these current challenges in view of competing national priorities and proposes alternative new approaches in search of the true Universe. This is an engaging read for astrophysicists, policy makers, historians, and sociologists of science looking to learn and apply lessons from the past in gaining deeper cosmological insight.

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Complexity and Diversity (by K. Kudo et al.)

Complexity and Diversity

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Nonlinear complex open systems show great diversity in the process of self-organization, and that diversity increases as complexity increases. The measurement of complexity and the origins of the diversity of such complex systems are the focus of interdisciplinary studies extending across a wide range of scientific disciplines that include applied mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, ecology, sociology, and economics. Previous investigations have concentrated either on complexity or on diversity, but not both. This volume makes clear the relation between complexity and diversity with examples drawn from various disciplines. Compiles here are presentations from the Complexity and Diversity workshop held in Fugue, Japan, in August 1996. The contributions are the results of research in mathematical systems, physical systems, living systems, and social systems, and are contained in the four corresponding sections of the book. Mathematical expressions for the theory of complexity as a fundamental method along with realistic examples for application of systematic methods provide the reader with ready access to the latest topics in complex systems.

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Critical Dynamics: A Field Theory Approach to Equilibrium and Non-Equilibrium Scaling Behavior (by Uwe C. Täuber)

Critical Dynamics: A Field Theory Approach to Equilibrium and Non-Equilibrium Scaling Behavior

~ Uwe C. Täuber (author) More about this product
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Introducing a unified framework for describing and understanding complex interacting systems common in physics, chemistry, biology, ecology, and the social sciences, this comprehensive overview of dynamic critical phenomena covers the description of systems at thermal equilibrium, quantum systems, and non-equilibrium systems. Powerful mathematical techniques for dealing with complex dynamic systems are carefully introduced, including field-theoretic tools and the perturbative dynamical renormalization group approach, rapidly building up a mathematical toolbox of relevant skills. Heuristic and qualitative arguments outlining the essential theory behind each type of system are introduced at the start of each chapter, alongside real-world numerical and experimental data, firmly linking new mathematical techniques to their practical applications. Each chapter is supported by carefully tailored problems for solution, and comprehensive suggestions for further reading, making this an excellent introduction to critical dynamics for graduate students and researchers across many disciplines within physical and life sciences.

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Water Is in the Air: Physics, Politics, and Poetics of Water in the Arts

This ebook explores the ways that artists, from all over the world, working at the cutting edge of science and engineering, create work that addresses critical issues of water in culture and society. Drawing on thirty years of work documented in the Leonardo journal at MIT Press, the authors explore art and climate change and pollution, artificially seeded clouds, water fountains, the physics and poetics of waves, using all types of media (videos, performances, installations, sound art).

Published in collaboration with the STUDIOLAB consortium, a Europe-wide initiative that merges the studio with the research lab. Funded by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (http://studiolabproject.eu/partner/leonardoolats ).


Water Is in the Air: Physics, Politics, and Poetics of Water in the Arts

This ebook explores the ways that artists, from all over the world, working at the cutting edge of science and engineering, create work that addresses critical issues of water in culture and society. Drawing on thirty years of work documented in the Leonardo journal at MIT Press, the authors explore art and climate change and pollution, artificially seeded clouds, water fountains, the physics and poetics of waves, using all types of media (videos, performances, installations, sound art).

Published in collaboration with the STUDIOLAB consortium, a Europe-wide initiative that merges the studio with the research lab. Funded by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (http://studiolabproject.eu/partner/leonardoolats).

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The Language of Game Theory : Putting Epistemics into the Mathematics of Games (by Adam Brandenburger)

This volume contains eight papers written by Adam Brandenburger and his co-authors over a period of 25 years. These papers are part of a program to reconstruct game theory in order to make how players reason about a game a central feature of the theory. The program now called epistemic game theory extends the classical definition of a game model to include not only the game matrix or game tree, but also a description of how the players reason about one another (including their reasoning about other players' reasoning). With this richer mathematical framework, it becomes possible to determine the implications of how players reason for how a game is played. Epistemic game theory includes traditional equilibrium-based theory as a special case, but allows for a wide range of non-equilibrium behavior.

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Dynamic Games in Economics (by Josef Haunschmied et al.)

Dynamic game theory serves the purpose of including strategic interaction in decision making and is therefore often applied to economic problems. This book presents the state-of-the-art and directions for future research in dynamic game theory related to economics. It was initiated by contributors to the 12th Viennese Workshop on Optimal Control, Dynamic Games and Nonlinear Dynamics and combines a selection of papers from the workshop with invited papers of high quality.

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Networks and Network Analysis for Defence and Security (by Anthony J. Masys)

Networks and Network Analysis for Defence and Security discusses relevant theoretical frameworks and applications of network analysis in support of the defence and security domains. This book details real world applications of network analysis to support defence and security. Shocks to regional, national and global systems stemming from natural hazards, acts of armed violence, terrorism and serious and organized crime have significant defence and security implications. Today, nations face an uncertain and complex security landscape in which threats impact/target the physical, social, economic and cyber domains. Threats to national security, such as that against critical infrastructures not only stem from man-made acts but also from natural hazards. Katrina (2005), Fukushima (2011) and Hurricane Sandy (2012) are examples highlighting the vulnerability of critical infrastructures to natural hazards and the crippling effect they have on the social and economic well-being of a community and a nation. With this dynamic and complex threat landscape, network analysis has emerged as a key enabler in supporting defence and security. With the advent of ‘big data’ and increasing processing power, network analysis can reveal insights with regards to structural and dynamic properties thereby facilitating greater understanding of complex networks, their entities, interdependencies, vulnerabilities to produce insights for creative solutions. This book will be well positioned to inform defence, security and intelligence professionals and researchers with regards to leading methodologies and approaches.

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Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World (by Amir Alexander)

Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World

~ Amir Alexander (author) More about this product
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On August 10, 1632, five leaders of the Society of Jesus convened in a somber Roman palazzo to pass judgment on a simple idea: that a continuous line is composed of distinct and limitlessly tiny parts. The doctrine would become the foundation of calculus, but on that fateful day the judges ruled that it was forbidden. With the stroke of a pen they set off a war for the soul of the modern world.
     Amir Alexander’s Infinitesimal is the story of the struggle that pitted Europe’s entrenched powers against voices for tolerance and change. It takes us from the bloody religious strife of the sixteenth century to the battlefields of the English civil war and the fierce confrontations between leading thinkers like Galileo and Hobbes. We see how a small mathematical disagreement became a contest over the nature of the heavens and the earth: Was the world entirely known and ruled by a divinely sanctioned rationality and hierarchy? Or was it a vast and mysterious place, ripe for exploration? The legitimacy of popes and kings, as well as our modern beliefs in human liberty and progressive science, hung in the balance; the answer hinged on the infinitesimal.
     Pulsing with drama and excitement, Infinitesimal will forever change the way you look at a simple line—and celebrates the spirit of discovery, innovation, and intellectual achievement.

 

 

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Nonlinear Control of Dynamic Networks (by Tengfei Liu, Zhong-Ping Jiang & David J. Hill)

Nonlinear Control of Dynamic Networks (Automation and Control Engineering)

~ David J. Hill (author) More about this product
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Significant progress has been made on nonlinear control systems in the past two decades. However, many of the existing nonlinear control methods cannot be readily used to cope with communication and networking issues without nontrivial modifications. For example, small quantization errors may cause the performance of a "well-designed" nonlinear control system to deteriorate.

Motivated by the need for new tools to solve complex problems resulting from smart power grids, biological processes, distributed computing networks, transportation networks, robotic systems, and other cutting-edge control applications, Nonlinear Control of Dynamic Networks tackles newly arising theoretical and real-world challenges for stability analysis and control design, including nonlinearity, dimensionality, uncertainty, and information constraints as well as behaviors stemming from quantization, data-sampling, and impulses.

Delivering a systematic review of the nonlinear small-gain theorems, the text:

 

  • Supplies novel cyclic-small-gain theorems for large-scale nonlinear dynamic networks
  • Offers a cyclic-small-gain framework for nonlinear control with static or dynamic quantization
  • Contains a combination of cyclic-small-gain and set-valued map designs for robust control of nonlinear uncertain systems subject to sensor noise
  • Presents a cyclic-small-gain result in directed graphs and distributed control of nonlinear multi-agent systems with fixed or dynamically changing topology

 

 

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