- Series: MIT Press
- Paperback: 514 pages
- Publisher: A Bradford Book; Reprint edition (January 31, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0262561271
- ISBN-13: 978-0262561273
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Computational Beauty of Nature: Computer Explorations of Fractals, Chaos, Complex Systems, and Adaptation Reprint Edition
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This book is a delight.(Barak Pearlmutter, University of New Mexico)
This delightful book illustrates beautifully the paradigm shift in physics from writing equations and solving them to computer modeling and experimentation.(Greg Chaitin, author of The Limits of Mathematics)
About the Author
Gary William Flake is a Scientist at the NEC Research Institute in Princeton, New Jersey.
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Top Customer Reviews
This Computational Beauty of Nature (CBofN) covered a lot of topics. Ranged from brief introduction to Computation Theory, Fractals, Chaos, Complexity, Adaptation. (See the Table of Content for more details).
All topics are written in surprisingly clear and very understandable manner. With as little Math as possible. (From my opinion, these topics cannot be completely understood without Mathematics -- The Language of Nature). Therefore, it is also accessible to layperson.
This book does not, however, go so deep into each subject. (You won't expect it to do that with its less-than 500 pages, don't you? :-) Instead, it does give nice backgrounds, fundamental knowledge, and important ideas for each. So, if you are interesting in any of the subjects presented here, you can go on to the more specialized books on your own.
One of the nicest feature of this book, which can hardly be found in other text, is that the it does show how things work together, where and why. For example, natural phenomena like adaptation, evolution, computation, and some other things else related to each other. How can one view this from that perspective, and vice versa. etc.
One other nice feature of this book is, you can really play with almost all concepts using a number of computer programs. All the programs are downloadable (with source code, under GNU license) from the book's homepage. So, you can reproduce almost all the figures from the book.
However, for one thing, the homepage address given in the book, in the edition/printing I have is incorrect. Maybe MIT Press had changed the structure of their website or something...
...you can still search for it using your favourite web-search engine.
About the website, all the good things are there as well, including errata. (Of course, Perfect things are very rare in Nature... So, books with some errors are ok. The thing that matter is the authors know it/admit it and tell the readers or not).
Conclusion: If you want to understand "How Nature Works" from the computational point of view. If you interested in Chaos theory, Fractals and Complexity. Then, make no mistake, you can't go wrong with this one. (And, get the hardcover edition, because you will read it, read it, read it again, and keep refering to it. So the paperback edition probably can't endure that :-)
I want to give it more stars if I only could. This book will always get the highest rating possible from me wherever and whenever I review it.
Nature herself is so beautiful. So, it's time to get to know her, to learn about her and to understand her! And this book just did it, in such a way that can hardly be better!