Tuesday, October 21, 2003

The most recent SIAM Review arrived in the mail today. This looks like a particularly interesting issue for the articles alone, but since the book reviews are shorter I read them first.

The book reviews this time are particularly amusing. There's a two-volume set on scattering that goes for $1000 -- and I complain about the price of text books at a tenth that cost! There's a review of a book on ethnomathematics which describes such things as binary codings used in various divination systems; graph theoretic properties of social networks among the Basques; and the calendar system of Bali, which apparently uses overlapping weeks of length 1, 2, ..., 10 days. Then there's a review of a book on nonlinear dynamics which includes a quote from the Roman poet Lucretius in which the poet appears to be grappling with the concept of a nonlinear flow. There's also a book on nonlinear dynamics which the reviewer recommends as an applied math book that I strongly recommend for sharing with your students and lovers, patrons and presidents (the book is SYNC: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order by Steven Strogatz). I'd send Mr. Bush a copy, but I think I know other people who would appreciate it more.

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