*Chaos: Making a New Science*

(James Gleick)

A *great book*, one of the best books I have ever read! I just
can't stop plugging it! Explains the history and development of chaos
theory from its very birth to fairly recent times. Includes great
pictures, diagrams, explanations, and some great color plates. James
Gleick is an excellent science writer whose prose neither alienates
laypeople nor bores experts. *Chaos* was truly one of the most
revolutionary books covering chaos science. Highly, *highly*
recommended as a great introductory text on chaos theory.

*The Fractal Geometry of Nature*

Benoit B. Mandelbrot

*Everybody* knows Benoit Mandelbrot (except maybe primitive aborigine
basket-weavers who have lived inside paper bags in Antarctica all their lives
and are deaf, dumb, blind, and danged stupid) of IBM; he discovered the
fascinating Mandelbrot set generated by repeated iteration of a simple
recursive function operating on the complex number space. The vaguely
pear-shaped resultant image plotted on the Argand plane has provided some of
the most fascinating images ever created. This book discusses, in a more
general than scientific vein, most everything Mandelbrot eventually
associated with fractals. Fairly old but makes good reading; esoterically
confusing mathematical discussions are balanced by some great three-dimensional
fractal pictures including the famous *Planetrise* and a killer
conception of a Sierpinski *pyramid*.

*An Eye For Fractals: A Graphic & Photographic Essay*

Michael McGuire

A good beginning book on fractals; excellent low-level lay text very suitable
for those as yet unfamiliar with chaos theory. The author attempts to make
a statement about fractals and their relationships with nature; fractals
are shown juxtaposed with strikingly beautiful photographs of landscapes,
trees, rocks, and other Ansel Adams reminiscent natural phenomena displaying
a fractal nature. Contains one of the best explanations of fractal dimension
for beginners available. Mandelbrot and Julia sets are covered well. The
author also unsuccessfully attempts to explain affine transformations.
Valuable mainly as a compendium of pretty pictures.

*The Beauty of Fractals: Images of Complex Dynamical Systems*

Heinz-Otto Peitgen/Peter H. Richter

The two authors of this spectacular work are truly giants in the fractal
image industry. This book is widely recognzied as the source of some of the
most spectacular pictures of fractals to be found anywhere, with the possible
exception of the various prolific fractal movies produced almost daily from
Caltech. Very good book with highly esoterical mathematics balanced with
incredible fractal graphics.

*The Science of Fractal Images*

Heinz-Otto Peitgen/Dietmar Saupe (Editors)

Michael F. Barnsley / R.L Devaney / Benoit B. Mandelbrot / Heinz-Otto Peitgen / Dietmar Saupe / Richard Voss (Contributors)

The names in this title cause involuntary genuflection. All the big giants
of the infant fractal arena come out *en masse* and ready to tangle with
any skeptic with this incredible book. Although the mathematics level is
high-level (knowledge of advanced calculus and differential equations
required except for one simple chapter), the pictures, particularly fractal
landscapes and clouds, are truly breathtaking. Well, well, well worth
reading and studying. Breakthrough, FAST algorithms for calculating the
Mandelbrot set, great IFS methods, and other such neat stuff.

*Fractal Geometry: Mathematical Foundations and Applications*

Kenneth Falconer

A handy little tome filled with lots of math jargon and useless proofs.
For the layman, useful only for the sections concerning random variations
of regular fractals which produce wonderful results. Concerns itself more
with the advanced mathematics driving chaos than with the applications on
either computers or physical sciences.

*Fractals Everywhere*

Michael F. Barnsley

The King of Iterated Function Systems, Michael F. Barnsley, makes his
presence felt with this textbook devoted almost entirely to the IFS method,
Collage Theorem, and other brainchilds leading to image compression which
produce *very* nice images. Has good listings of transformations for
homebrew programmers to churn up in their computers, as well as examples
of stunningly detailed pictures purely generated by the IFS method.

*Chance and Chaos*

David Ruelle

A mathematical book concentrating more on probability than chaos theory.
Vaguely interesting, but a bit dry for anybody for whom mathematics is not
completely enjoyable--but what can you expect from a professor of
theoretical physics? Has an interesting section on the Lorenz attractor.
The author was one of the original researchers studying the Lorenz attractor
and thus was an important Founding Father of chaos theory; sadly, he today
bemoans the state of chaos theory and declares that it has discovered nothing
truly real. It is, I suppose, up to us to decide and hopefully disprove.

*Fractals: Endlessly Repeated Geometrical Figures*

Hans Lauwerier

A good book that explains much concerning fractals; listings of many
extremely poor-quality, but functional, programs in Turbo Basic.
Some great explanations of chaotic orbits and asthetic chaos. The main
usefulness of this book lies in its listings of the ranges and values that
provide good orbits, and the explanations of basic fractal construction.
Contains a few very good line-replacing method fractal generators which
produce great fractal curves, albeit not quite as efficiently as with the
more recent L-system method.

*A Geometry of Nature*

Edward Rietmann

Computer-oriented only in that it contains program listings, this mostly
practical book contains a treasure trove of differential equations and
recursive functions suitable for programmers. Ignore the programs themselves,
inefficient dinosaurs written in Turbo Basic; they all plot points to a file,
and then read these points, a horribly noninteractive and unentertaining
process which takes away the fun of watching a strange attractor fly across
a computer screen. The equations and algorithms listed here, however, are
extremely useful.

*Does God Play Dice? (The Mathematics of Chaos)*

Ian Stewart

An interesting book which covers nearly everything about chaos theory
without going in-depth on any of its aspects. No algorithms are provided
except the well-known IFS algorithm of the Sierpinski triangle, but there
are some good diagrams and pictures and a good section on the easy-to-perform
water drop experiment which may be of interest to airchair researchers.

*Artificial Life: The Quest for a New Creation*

Stephen Levy

Authored by one who has been around since the early days of the MIT labs,
who watched "Slug" Russell program the *original* "Spacewar,"
this book explains cellular automata such as Life and other
systems in great detail and postulates on possible artificial
life arising from these. A truly fascinating story of an engrossing field,
with good background information on everything covered. This is definitely a
book well worth reading for background on complexity and the idea that
order arising from disorder is in fact a natural process. Great explanations
of cellular automata from one-dimensional Wolfram systems to the John Conway
*Life* conception and the Langton eight-state self-replicating
pattern.

*Hackers*

Stephen Levy

Included mainly for inspirational value; this book is the monumental story
of the early days of computer hacking. Great anecdotes and history of the
MIT computer labs gives insight into that strange breed we call computer
programmers. As a flimsy excuse for being plugged in this chaos theory
related bibliography, this book *does* have a section on obsessed
hackers madly scrambling on *Life*, both on computers and with actual
checkerboards.

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