A renowned mathematician shows how the "science of surprise" can help explain some of the most inexplicable phenomena in science, nature, the arts, the economy, and more.
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John L. Casti received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Southern California in 1970. In 1974, after holding positions at the RAND Corporation and the University of Arizona, he became one of the first research staff members at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Vienna, where he stayed until 1986. Since 1992, he has been a professor and resident researcher at the Santa Fe Institute. He is also a professor at the Technical University of Vienna. The author of numerous books, he divides his time between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Vienna.From Publishers Weekly:
Most books on complexity theory promise to lead the epistemological thrill-seeker far out on the limb of theory. Not so Casti ( Searching for Certainty ). He admits early on to a major "surprise" about chaos and other formal systems: that even with artificial intelligence as a new tool, theory cannot capture nature. After an almost old-fashioned undergraduate review of basic concepts of dynamical systems, Casti shows how formal complexity models proceed from the basic "surprises." Always more interested in instructing than in dazzling with sensational and obtuse ideas, Casti steers the reader toward an understanding of the field. He's a good teacher and this is the kind of grounding lay readers should have before they step farther out on a new paradigm.
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