- Series: Studies in Nonlinearity
- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Westview Press; 1 edition (January 19, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0738204536
- ISBN-13: 978-0738204536
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: With Applications To Physics, Biology, Chemistry, And Engineering (Studies in Nonlinearity) 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Accompanied by the lectures on the subject (search the title on youtube), this is likely the best book on math out there for motivated unexperienced reader.
It will throw you to many practical fields of mathematics, and, having enough time, one can continue wandering and hunting for different subjects while eating this dish chapter by chapter (or lecture by lecture). For me, who has the luxury of not following any education plan, this is a delicious experience.
"if all math books are written in this clarity, the number of students in physics/engineering would rise considerably".
This is the one of the clearest textbooks I ever seen in my college life.
Clear words, helpful figures, many examples, ...
This book is perfect for self-study.
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!
I have read quite a lot of college textbooks and I can easily say that this is by far the most useful in its subject. Unlike other books, this book helps build up an understanding and a process rather than state the facts and theorems. It shows Steven's deep knowledge in the subject.
The most important aspect of the way it's written is that the majority of the prerequisites are not assumed. This may be a bit too redundant but that doesn't stop anyone from skipping ahead which is by far the better option to have since one cannot assume that the reader's memory is still fresh and reminders are always good to have.
It may not be focused on a particular field on chaos, but for building up an analytical state of mind this book shines.
I highly recommend it.