Modeling Reality: How Computers Mirror Life
This book presents a broad overview of modelling principles and ideas, and modelling reality. The fields covered include cellular automata, discrete probability, basic statistics, dynamic systems, evolution of dynamic systems, the notion of chaos, fractals, statistical linguistics, graph theory, game theory, genetic algorithms, neural networks, the modelling of society, and Turing machines and artificial intelligence. Each subject is discussed in a separate chapter with an historical introduction including mention of the well-known people connected with the subject. Each chapter also contains a problem characterizing the subject and demonstrated on an enclosed CD.
The book originated from a series of lectures delivered by the first author at the Warsaw School of Social Psychology and at Warsaw University. The authors’ aim is to give a broad overview of various aspects and principles of mathematical modelling for a mixed audience from students of mathematics, computer science and physics to students of biology and social sciences. The book is equipped with a CD containing implementations of problems mentioned in chapters. These programs allow the reader to practise his knowledge on modelling. He can see and work with Galton’s board, Pascal’s triangle, genetic algorithms, Schelling’s model, etc. I recommend the book to any reader interested in mathematical modelling. The book would also be convenient as a textbook for introductory tutorial courses on mathematical modelling for a mixed audience.