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Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Equations of Life

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  93 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
At a time of unprecedented expansion in the life sciences, evolution is the one theory that transcends all of biology. Any observation of a living system must ultimately be interpreted in the context of its evolution. Evolutionary change is the consequence of mutation and natural selection, which are two concepts that can be described by mathematical equations. Evolutionar ...more
Hardcover, 363 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Belknap Press
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Nov 07, 2011 David rated it liked it
This book develops the mathematical equations for modeling a variety of fascinating topics in evolution. If you are comfortable with equations, and have some background in linear algebra, then you are well-equipped for the formalism in this book.

What is best about this book, is how Martin Nowak develops the models starting from simple sets of equations. As the subject matter is developed, the models gain sophistication as additional parameters and feedback mechanisms are introduced. I especially
Navid Asmari Saadabad
Mar 04, 2017 Navid Asmari Saadabad rated it it was amazing
An interesting introduction to evolution and the equations that govern it.
The book gets started with an introduction to the concept of evolution and how replication, mutation, and selection, affect it. Every simple mechanism that is in action in nature, is modeled using differential equations. In other words, the author explains mathematical biology in the first few chapters. As soon as the author introduces game theory and applies it to the modelings, you have to follow the rest of the book wi
Nov 28, 2014 Rossdavidh rated it liked it
Shelves: black, blue
First of all, a frivolous comment: this is a heavy book. No, not the ideas in it. The book itself. No, it's not especially big; less than 400 pages all told. But, for some reason, it's really heavy. For some reason this was satisfying, in a manner similar to how a pen is more satisfying to hold if it's heavy.

Anyway, on to the actual contents.

The starting point is the (in?)famous Prisoner's Dilemma. Most of you have already of heard of it, but just in case: imagine two criminals, in prison and ch
Aug 20, 2008 Ross rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: biologists, mathematicians, people fascinated by life
This incredible book manages to clearly approach evolution from a mathematical perspective. This text succeeds in both presenting topics so that one who is not familiar with advanced maths can understand and benefit from it, yet still includes the equations and fundamental mathematical relations that will entice and empower one with a mathematical background. Everything is so clearly explained that it is a real pleasure to read. I would love to take his course. The first half of the book develop ...more
Feb 23, 2014 Cora rated it it was amazing
Incredible book. Read it for a game theory course. Very math-heavy, but with basic algebra skills you can work it out. For a non-mathematician, it will take time to go through each chapter (at least it did for me!). Don't let it frighten you; if you are at all interested in evolution, you can pick through the chapters and glean plenty. It's really fun to work these things out on the subway or in a cafe as a lot of the math is like a puzzle. This author has written some of the seminal works in ga ...more
Jun 16, 2014 Gregory rated it really liked it
This was an interesting book. It covers a range of topics with a range of applications. It is easy to read and most of the chapters are written such that they could stand alone, or at least be read out of order. I wish he would make a second edition to fix typos and mistakes (both in the text and figures) as well as bring everything into conformity.
Jul 11, 2010 DJ marked it as to-read
Shelves: math
Nothing makes me more excited than when a physicist writes a book on biology. Except when a mathematician does so.
Sep 22, 2012 Frank rated it it was ok
Important content, but somewhat too dumbed down.
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Martin A. Nowak is Professor of Biology and Mathematics and Director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University.

(His writings are indexed under the name M.A. Nowak.)
More about M.A. Nowak...

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