Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Computational Beauty of Nature: Computer Explorations of Fractals, Chaos, Complex Systems, and Adaptation” as Want to Read:
The Computational Beauty of Nature: Computer Explorations of Fractals, Chaos, Complex Systems, and Adaptation
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Computational Beauty of Nature: Computer Explorations of Fractals, Chaos, Complex Systems, and Adaptation

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  221 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Gary William Flake develops in depth the simple idea that recurrent rules can produce rich and complicated behaviors.

In this book Gary William Flake develops in depth the simple idea that recurrent rules can produce rich and complicated behaviors. Distinguishing "agents" (e.g., molecules, cells, animals, and species) from their interactions (e.g., chemical reactions, immun
...more
Paperback, 514 pages
Published January 27th 2000 by Bradford Book (first published July 10th 1998)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Computational Beauty of Nature, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Computational Beauty of Nature

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  221 ratings  ·  13 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Amar Pai
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
I was somewhat disappointed by this book. Maybe 15 years ago the ideas presented here were radical and surprising, but now they're old hat. Much of the material is stuff that will be familiar to anyone who took intro level math and CS classes in college-- computability, lambda calculus, Godel's theorem, etc. The sections on fractals, cellular automata, neural nets, etc. cover well-trodden ground. There are better books if you want to delve deep into these subjects, and at a superficial level it' ...more
Dave Peticolas

An introduction to several strands of mathematics and computer science which have parallels in nature and biology. The topics covered include:

+ Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem

+ Fractals

+ Chaos

+ Cellular Automata

+ Genetic Algorithms

Because of the breadth of topics, the subject matter is sometimes treated fairly lightly. Although this sort of introductory treatment was exactly what I wanted, I occasionaly found the explanations to be too hand-wavy, especially some of the philosophical asides.

N

...more
Peter Aronson
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I very much enjoyed this book. While very little of the material was new to me, I enjoyed how it was presented, and more important, how it was connected. This is a somewhat dense book at times, and I had to re-read/re-parse some paragraphs multiple times. The sections "providing" mathematical background, however, are terse to the point of self-parody -- all they are good for is reminding someone about things they already knew, but might not have used recently.
Nick Black
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
As Amar Pai notes in his review, most of this is old hat to anyone who's paid attention to their undergraduate computer science curriculum and the pop math of the past 20 years. That said, it's exquisite writing, a wonderful intro for anyone new to computability, and has absolutely lovely digressions (often clearly offset as such). I found the material on computing via chaos via method of linear transforms new and fascinating. As Amar also notes, the title is kind of misleading; I was expecting ...more
Peter D. McLoughlin
Apr 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Best book of its kind I've read. Shows how mathematical algorithms shape the natural world and incites being gained with computer technology. The math isn't hard for someone who has studied the subject in college.
Deemeetree
Oct 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book about chaos theory, combinatorics, and fractals.
Collin Bell
Aug 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I used this for a textbook in my favorite college class: Biologically inspired computation.
Dave
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nice practical cookbook of Simulationist theology.
Mobill76
Feb 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
I feel a strange draw towards two poles. I love the highly technial man-made achievements and I love the completely unspoiled "nature of nature". This book sythesizes the two extremes beautifully. As our computers push the envelope of mathematics, we are better able to sythesize and understand the structure and appearance of natural things. This book added to my appreciation of nature by showing me the level of computation required to simulate it. At the same time, it added to my appreciation of ...more
Thomas
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting book. The subjects are well selected and complementary to each other. Even if it is more about computing than nature, it is interesting to see the connections that are made between some natural phenomena and math/CS theories.
Jeff
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like my experience with Manfred Schroeder's "Chaos, Fractals, and Power Laws", but extremely well organized, and clear. The example pseudo-code and included examples really got me excited to write some code and play with each topic myself.
Vincent Abbosh
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Emergence of complexity from chaos ... How the blind forces of physics and chemistry at the lower level can and does produce a mind boggling complexity as perceived in the natural world.
Tim
rated it it was amazing
Feb 16, 2015
Melissa Geiger
rated it it was amazing
Apr 17, 2019
Pablo F Souza
rated it liked it
Nov 03, 2017
Barrysmyth
rated it really liked it
Feb 14, 2019
Dan Farmer
rated it really liked it
Jan 01, 2017
Austin
rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2016
Daniel Fried
rated it really liked it
Jul 22, 2013
Kenny Daily
rated it really liked it
Sep 15, 2007
µ
rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2014
Maaike
rated it it was amazing
Apr 05, 2012
Matthew
rated it really liked it
Sep 23, 2011
Nikita
rated it liked it
Apr 28, 2012
Eternalaeon
rated it it was amazing
Jul 13, 2013
Manish Prabhune
rated it it was amazing
Mar 28, 2013
AJ
rated it liked it
Apr 10, 2012
Sonam Jain
rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2015
adrestia
rated it it was amazing
Oct 24, 2016
Ville Outamaa
rated it really liked it
Feb 14, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Self Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature
  • Introduction to Functional Programming
  • Genetic Algorithms in Search, Optimization, and Machine Learning
  • Computers and Intractability: A Guide to the Theory of NP-Completeness
  • Types and Programming Languages
  • Perceptrons - Expanded Edition: An Introduction to Computational Geometry (Expanded)
  • Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming: Case Studies in Common LISP
  • Emergence: From Chaos To Order
  • The Annotated Turing: A Guided Tour Through Alan Turing's Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine
  • Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice
  • Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists
  • A Discipline of Programming
  • Chaos and Fractals: New Frontiers of Science
  • The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution
  • The Heart of Mathematics: An Invitation to Effective Thinking
  • Masterminds of Programming: Conversations with the Creators of Major Programming Languages
  • The Universal Computer: The Road from Leibniz to Turing
  • Concepts, Techniques, and Models of Computer Programming
See similar books…

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »
“If we increase r [in a logistic map] even more, we will eventually force the system into a period-8 limit cycle, then a period-16 cycle, and so on. The amount that we have to increase r to get another period doubling gets smaller and smaller for each new bifurcation. This cascade of period doublings is reminiscent of the race between Achilles and the tortoise, in that an infinite number of bifurcations (or time steps in the race) can be confined to a local region of finite size. At a very special critical value, the dynamical system will fall into what is essentially an infinite-period limit cycle. This is chaos.” 2 likes
“Now, take all of your computer's memory and arrange it as one long line of zeros and ones: 0,1,1,1,0,0,0,1,1,0,1....Take this very long number and put a zero and a decimal point in front of it. We've just translated one huge number into a rational number between 0 and 1. By placing this single point at exactly the right spot on the number line, we can store an unlimited amount of information. Ah, if only it were so simple. In the real world, we simply don't have the precision required to put this method of storing memory into practice. We never will, either, but it's an interesting mental exercise to see that it can be done in theory in an idealized world. The point of this whole mental exercise is that in many ways an irrational number has as much "information" as an infinite number of natural numbers.” 0 likes
More quotes…