Complexity: A Guided Tour

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Apr 1, 2009 - Science - 368 pages
6 Reviews
What enables individually simple insects like ants to act with such precision and purpose as a group? How do trillions of neurons produce something as extraordinarily complex as consciousness? In this remarkably clear and companionable book, leading complex systems scientist Melanie Mitchell provides an intimate tour of the sciences of complexity, a broad set of efforts that seek to explain how large-scale complex, organized, and adaptive behavior can emerge from simple interactions among myriad individuals. Based on her work at the Santa Fe Institute and drawing on its interdisciplinary strategies, Mitchell brings clarity to the workings of complexity across a broad range of biological, technological, and social phenomena, seeking out the general principles or laws that apply to all of them. Richly illustrated, Complexity: A Guided Tour--winner of the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa Book Award in Science--offers a wide-ranging overview of the ideas underlying complex systems science, the current research at the forefront of this field, and the prospects for its contribution to solving some of the most important scientific questions of our time.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
5
4 stars
1
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This is the right book for people who want to introduce to complexity. It is clear, use a lot of metaphors, comparisons and good examples. Highly recommended.

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Professor Mitchell is a gifted scholar and author. In this book, she makes the fascinating concepts in and around Complexity accessible and enjoyable.

Contents

Life and Evolution in Computers
113
Computation Writ Large
143
Network Thinking
225
Conclusion
289
Notes
304
Bibliography
326
Index
337
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Melanie Mitchell is Professor of Computer Science at Portland State University and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute.

Bibliographic information