Six Sources of Collapse (Spectrum) UK ed. Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0883855799
ISBN-10: 0883855798
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Editorial Reviews


Based on his experience as a risk consultant, manager, and professor of finance and mathematics, Hadlock examines the phenomenon of collapse from six different technical points of view, namely low probability events, group behavior, evolutionary processes, instability, nonlinear dynamics, and network effects. In each case, we are offered a high-level, accessible presentation of the underlying mathematical notions. For instance, the chapter on low probability events (Chapter 2, "Predicting unpredictable events," one of the most technical in the volume) comprises an introduction to probability distributions and their basic properties, followed by gentle explanations of the Central Limit and the Extreme Value theorems, leading to the concept of heavy-tailed distributions. The chapter ends with a detailed discussion of how ill-founded statistical assumptions on the occurrence of extreme events can lead, and have led, to catastrophic results in the financial market. In fact, all chapters are rife with real-world instances of collapse that can be explained, or at least analysed, under one or more of the six approaches. Readers are likely to find such examples one of the most compelling contributions of the book. --Marco Faella, Mathematical Reviews

Hadlock's writing is invariably clear and concise, yet informal and appealing, as befits a mathematical memoirist. The book is by no means a textbook, although it could be regarded as a compendium of modules suitable for presentation to undergraduates at various stages of development by instructors seeking to enhance their lectures with a smattering of genuine applications. For that reason alone, every teaching mathematician should own a copy of this book! --James Case, SIAM News

Complex human-made and natural systems sometimes collapse or fail in very dramatic fashion. The new field of complexity theory has arisen from attempts to find general explanations for the behavior of these systems. Here, Hadlock (mathematics, Bentley Univ.) introduces some key mathematical ideas in complexity theory, including fat-tailed probability distributions, evolution and game theory, feedback loops, chaos and catastrophes in dynamical systems, and the behavior of large-scale networks. The book is organized into chapters that can be read independently, but taken as whole it provides a very broad overview of the mathematical ideas behind complexity theory. Readers need some knowledge of calculus, differential equations, and probability to fully understand the material, but this book requires less mathematical background than many other books on this topic. It would be suitable for undergraduate students in science and engineering as well as students in the social sciences and management. ----B. Borchers, CHOICE

Book Description

An interdisciplinary investigation of how and why things collapse, ranging from governments to species, markets and structures. The author explores the mathematics behind six fundamental processes that lead to such collapses. The exposition assumes minimal mathematical background and should appeal to readers from a wide range of fields.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.19 pounds
  • ISBN-10 : 0883855798
  • Hardcover : 220 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0883855799
  • Publisher : American Mathematical Society; UK ed. Edition (December 31, 2012)
  • Product Dimensions : 6.97 x 0.59 x 9.96 inches
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating
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