Customer Reviews


68 Reviews
5 star:
 (54)
4 star:
 (11)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


114 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction and reference text
It is rare that books of this type are both comprehensive and readable. Strogatz has managed to cover a wide range of concepts in significant detail while providing examples to illustrate his major points.

The beginning of the text starts of with one dimensional nonlinear systems of first order (like the logistic equation), and Strogatz outlines the typical...
Published on March 7, 2003 by Reviewer

versus
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great content, but Kindle version has fundamental problems
This is a well written textbook, and it's easy to see why it's a favorite among grad students and professors. The content is presented in a way that is easy to understand and the examples are very helpful.

However, there is a crippling issue with the typesetting in the kindle version of the textbook. Occasionally, the time derivative dot over a variable will be...
Published on December 15, 2011 by jeffliu


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

114 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction and reference text, March 7, 2003
By 
Reviewer (Near Columbus, OH United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: With Applications To Physics, Biology, Chemistry, And Engineering (Studies in Nonlinearity) (Paperback)
It is rare that books of this type are both comprehensive and readable. Strogatz has managed to cover a wide range of concepts in significant detail while providing examples to illustrate his major points.

The beginning of the text starts of with one dimensional nonlinear systems of first order (like the logistic equation), and Strogatz outlines the typical framework that one uses to analyze such systems. He defines fixed points, illustrates and defines bifurcations, and solidifies every claim with good examples.

The text eventually moves to higher order systems with coupled or non-coupled sets of differential equations. For the most part, exercises for the student involve sets of two differential equations that can be linearized using Jacobian methods.

Later, Strogatz provides a nicely executed description of fractals and fractal dimension, using examples from the Cantor set and the von Koch curve.

The beauty of the book is that it is well written and complete. It even provides some limited solutions to selected exercises in the back. The examples in the book cover a wide range of areas. Mechanical oscillating systems like a mass on a spring, electrical circuits that follow the same equations, laser models that follow a modified logistic equation, and many variations of the Lotka-Volterra model are outlined through examples in the text.

The book is a stand-alone text, equally useful as a textbook for an intorductory course or as a reference for someone merely surveying the subject. It deserves the highest rating possible.

Edit: 2/28/07

Now with a few years of hindsight, I would say this might have been the best stand alone textbook I had in grad school. This was one of the few books I had where I could teach myself the subject matter by just reading it. It is a great book that takes the mysticism out of a new and growing field.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


73 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Template for a Math book!, March 28, 2005
By 
A reader (Rocky Mountains USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: With Applications To Physics, Biology, Chemistry, And Engineering (Studies in Nonlinearity) (Paperback)
Were all Math books written like this, the number of students majoring in Math, Physics, etc. would rise considerably. The presentation is clear, lucid and comprehensive. Each concept is introduced with its motivating phenomena and the mathematical treatment is logical and elegant with many worked examples. This is one of those rare Math books that "begin at the beginning", yet go on to develop the concepts to a point useful even to grad students who want a review of basics before plunging into more advanced material. (If you are looking for more detailed mathematical stuff, I'd suggest Kevorkian's "Multiple Scale and Singular Perturbation Methods" or "Perturbation Methods" by Hinch.)

For the benefit of those reviewers who have complained that the mathematics is not rigorous enough, may I point out that the author clearly states the book is an introduction to the topic. I have come across other introductory books using basic differential equations, on similar topics where the material is presented in a disjointed way. Strogatz, however, shows us the inter-relatedness of the broad range of concepts and applications that fall within the title. Therein lies a major strength of this book.

Another big plus is that Strogatz presents those intermediate diagrams and results that take us to the final conclusion. Also he interprets the Math en route to the finale. He does not employ the usual "it is apparent that ..." strategy to pole-vault to miracle steps. This approach makes the book a breezy read; a remark not commonly made about advanced Math books!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great intro to nonlinear dynamics with excellent examples, July 27, 1998
By A Customer
This book is an excellent introductory graduate level text on nonlinear dynamics for those who wish to understand the basic concepts before seeing the mathematical rigor at the heart of the subject. Strogatz avoids getting caught up in mathematical nuances which often cloud the big picture for non-math students, and thereby clearly impresses upon the reader the essence of nonlinear dynamics, eventually building up to chaos. The examples and problems are truly unique and inspiring. This book is an excellent starting place for someone who knows little or nothing about nonlinear dynamics but has done some basic work with linear differential equations and linear algebra.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice intuitive introduction to chaos and nonlinear phenomena, November 24, 2003
By 
Josh Isralowitz (Rutherford, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: With Applications To Physics, Biology, Chemistry, And Engineering (Studies in Nonlinearity) (Paperback)
Basically, if you have a solid foundation in elementary multivariable calculus (calc III) and some aspects of ODEs, and want to know just what's going on with this new 'chaos trend,' and more importantly want to know why 'chaos' is actually useful, then read this book. As one reviewer noted, this book is not mathematically rigorous, and there's a simple reason for this: one can't explain nonlinear phenomena rigorously with just an elementary multivariable calculus backround. To rigorously treat the material in this book, you must have at least some point-set topological backround and have a decently strong real analysis backround (even Strogatz uses concepts from analysis and topology in an elementary way, such as compactness and measure) and even more advanced books that assume such a backround are sometimes less than rigorous (i.e. 'Perko' often says 'it can be shown' rather than showing it himself.) However, the lack of rigor I think is a good thing. Strogatz always nicely indicates 'why something should be true,' which for a beginner will give them a intuition about the subject so that if they gain the backround mentioned above, they can dive farther into this subject by using other advanced books. Finally, this book should be used as a third year undergraduate text. It should not be used as an advanced undergraduate/first year graduate text, since such courses should be more in depth and rigorous.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect introduction to Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos, August 8, 2002
By 
"capitalistnihilist" (Abilene, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: With Applications To Physics, Biology, Chemistry, And Engineering (Studies in Nonlinearity) (Paperback)
If you have read about Chaos and Nonlinear Dynamics and you wish to delve deeper into the mathematics behind the theories then this is the book for you. Strogatz is an excellent writer with an uncanny ability to make advanced concepts seem amazingly simple. The exercises and examples make this book perfect for the motivated self-learner. I must warn you however that you had better be at least somewhat familiar with ODE before you dive into this text. I strongly recommend this book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars incredible!, June 12, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: With Applications To Physics, Biology, Chemistry, And Engineering (Studies in Nonlinearity) (Paperback)
This is probably the best math book I've ever read. Unlike other stuffy books, this one is very personable and informal. It is extremely readable, the explanations are crystal-clear and very intuitive and well-motivated, plus the author inserts a lot of humor (it's so nice to be reminded that mathematicians are humans). There are fascinating examples culled from applications.

I should note two things. First, it is not a proof-based book. It discuesses the cool theorems and gives intuitive justifications, but the author is clear that his goal is to build intuition and give experience with the techniques, rather than mathematical rigor (thankfully, he is honest about this and points to areas where more rigor could be introduced, rather than giving the unnatural and awkward hybrid of rigor and intuition attempted by many calculus books). Second, a lot of the problems (though certainly not all) deal with pathological and/or special cases, so it's possible for teachers to give fairly onerous homeworks.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great content, but Kindle version has fundamental problems, December 15, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a well written textbook, and it's easy to see why it's a favorite among grad students and professors. The content is presented in a way that is easy to understand and the examples are very helpful.

However, there is a crippling issue with the typesetting in the kindle version of the textbook. Occasionally, the time derivative dot over a variable will be omitted in equations. This has the potential to completely change formulae, examples, and problems. At best, it's just a nuisance; perhaps a dot will disappear from one line of a derivation to the next. At worst, however, it can completely ruin your interpretation of a problem or equation. It's extremely frustrating to spend several hours trying to work out an unsolvable problem because of typesetting issues on the Kindle.

I have viewed the book in both Kindle for Mac and Kindle w/ keyboard, and compared the text to a physical copy, and the omissions occur on both Kindle readers.

So if you are trying to decide between the physical copy and the kindle copy of this book, you'll save yourself some confusion and frustration if you pick up the physical copy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, January 9, 1998
By A Customer
It is an absolutely marvelous text. I was looking for a text which introduced nonlinear dynamics and all its interesting applications to professors and scientists whose common background included only 1 year of calculus. All I could find was higher level math books, which for the most part were very boring as they got lost in an orgy of math. This text introduces concepts using an intuitive, graphical approach. The mathematics is rigorous, but boring details are avoided. There are fantastic examples in all areas of science. I have often noted that there are many science texts but far too few good ones. This is a great one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly Readable, January 3, 2007
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: With Applications To Physics, Biology, Chemistry, And Engineering (Studies in Nonlinearity) (Paperback)
I bought this book as a textbook for a class, and I have to say that it is a surprisingly readable math book. The class only used the first few chapters, but I find myself flipping through the rest of the book and trying to understand more advanced material. This is a good book for a scientist who needs to learn linear and nonlinear dynamics but is a little intimidated.

Keep in mind, this is a math book, and no writer can turn math into something it isn't. Still, the writer gives lots of relevant examples (especially in the problems--the only complaint I have is that the solutions in the back don't give any explanation, and these solutions are a bit sparse), and milks as much storytelling out of the subject matter as is possible. I thoroughly recommend it--it brings out the closet math geek in everyone!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally well written, December 8, 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: With Applications To Physics, Biology, Chemistry, And Engineering (Studies in Nonlinearity) (Paperback)
This book was the textbook in a course on nonlinear dynamics that I took. The course covered most of chapters 2-8 (chapter 1 is an introduction and is very short), so please consider my comments from that context. Speaking personally as an individual student- I tend to rely very heavily on my textbooks for learning and generally read them deeply. This book was no exception.

Overwhelmingly, the great strength of this book is the quality of the writing style. This is a very rare math book in that it is actually fun to read. The examples are for the most part very good- easy to follow and understand. The author focuses a lot on the big picture perspective of the techniques involved and does a superb job of developing a very good intuition and feel for nonlinear systems. In fact, the prose is so readable, I would not have any hesitation recommending this book for someone wanting to teach them self the topic (assuming the necessary background of course). I feel that this book could easily accommodate such a student.

Another great strength of this book is the way that ideas build upon one another. The author has masterfully written a book in which your intuition about early concepts pave the way for understanding later concepts even though missing some ideas in the beginning will not cripple you in later chapters. (IE, in many books if you do not understand chapter 1, you will fail in chapter 2, etc...)

The problems are very doable, but yet seem to capture the essence of ideas in the chapters well. This is in contrast to many books in which the easy problems are practically busy work, and the problems that teach you something require you to saw off your left foot. The author strikes a nice balance here. Another nice feature is that the author draws actual models from a broad range of disciplines to build the practice problem sets and worked examples.

The only real complaint I have about this book (as a pure math guy), is that this book is VERY skimpy on the theory(as in proofs and connection with deeper ideas)- but I think this book is targeted to a non-mathematics or an applied math audience. Personally, I found this frustrating and somewhat unsatisfying, but consider the nature of the class/audience. The author does sprinkle some theory around, such as the occasional reference to Topology and a section on index theory- but don't blink, you might miss it. The author rarely provides proof for theorems, those that he does provide are generally very simple and seem to be provided for their intuitive value rather than rigorous completeness. I considered giving it 4 stars instead of 5 due to the lack of rigor, but both considering its intended audience and its effectiveness at building intuition dismissed that consideration quickly. If you are looking for a book that digs into the theory, this is definitely not the book for you- at least not as a primary reference.

Another minor shortcoming (not so much a short coming as quality which is lacking which could make this book better) is that the book provides practice problems for use on a computer(appropriately) but does not provide any example code at all. This is not a big deal, a quick google search could easily provide you with a basic demonstration of the syntax necessary to plot a system using the language of your choice, but still. Personally, I would not let such a thing be a deal breaker for this book. (At least the author has not taken the other extreme and written the book entirely around one particular proprietary language!)

Despite these shortcomings, I strongly recommend this book either as a primary text for a course in nonlinear dynamics targeted to a non-pure-math audience, or as a secondary reference for anyone. I think this is a great book that will serve you well!

Oh, if the author is reading this post-
ADD MORE COLOR PICTURES OF CHAOTIC SYSTEMS PLEASE!! I love looking at those!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.