Complexity: A Guided Tour

by Melanie Mitchell


  • Nature (Mark Buchanan)
    Excerpt: "How can something be dependent and autonomous at the same time? And why do so many systems in nature show this hierarchical organization? No one has answered these questions, but in Complexity, computer scientist Melanie Mitchell of the Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico, offers a valuable snapshot of the growing field of complex-systems science from which the answers may eventually arise."

  • Science (Iain Couzin)
    Excerpt: [Mitchell] "proves an enthusiastic, sincere, and knowledgeable guide to ongoing debates in network theory, scaling, and artificial intelligence. As disciplinary boundaries fade and complexity science permeates the mainstream, she questions where we go from here. Throughout, she neither overemphasizes the progress made so far nor underestimates the important role that complexity research will have to play in addressing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time."

  • The Oregonian (James Gardner)
    Excerpt: "The best popular science books are those that give the reader the sense of looking over the shoulder of a leading researcher doing cutting-edge work at the frontier of scientific inquiry. Walter Isaacson's recent biography of Einstein belongs in this category. So too does Melanie Mitchell's 'Complexity: A Guided Tour,' a comprehensive new book chronicling the latest advances in the sciences of complexity."

  • The Quarterly Review of Biology (Mark Changizi)
    Excerpt:"If Mitchell's book were required reading for undergraduate freshmen, I would anticipate a large surge in the number of students interested not only in complexity, but interested in science more generally. And not just more students, but students more exercised about what may lie ahead as they attempt come to grips with nature."

  • Emergence: Complexity & Organization (Steven Khan)
    Excerpt:"The freshness of the book's presentation of the core ideas of the main branches of the complexity likely to render it an oft-recommended starting point and perhaps one of this generation's standard introductions to the exciting worlds of the sciences of complexity."

  • Artificial Life (Luis Izquierdo)
    Excerpt: "Professor Mitchell's book is most enjoyable, truly inspiring, skillfully written, and, above all, beautifully clear."

  • Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines (Felix Streichert)
    Excerpt: "Complexity, A Guided Tour is a well written, easy to understand, and entertaining piece of popular science."

  • Physics Today (Zoltan Toroczkai)
    Excerpt: "Complexity: A Guided Tour is well written and engaging, laced with candid humor and occasional blunt remarks about some of the major characters in the field. It is a fine introduction to complexity science and could serve as a first-rate text for an advanced course for undergraduates and an excellent guide for courses at the graduate level. Experts and nonspecialists alike will have a hard time putting it down."

  • Notices of the American Mathematical Society (Dan Rockmore)
    Excerpt: "Melanie Mitchell's Complexity is a great way to take a first voyage to the complex system of complex systems."

  • Complexity (Brajendra K. Singh)
    Excerpt: "This book is a superb introduction to the science of complexity.... I recommend it to everyone interested in complexity sciences."

  • The Evolution and Medicine Review (Neil Greenspan)
    Excerpt: "[T]he clearest, most accessible, and most clear-eyed single source I have encountered for becoming familiar with the disparate styles of investigation and challenging concepts that have come from looking for common principles underlying the behaviors of systems ranging from cells and computer programs to economies and whole ecosystems."

  • Physics World (Gordon Fraser)

  • Bookslut (Becky Ferreira)

  • Journal of Artificial Socieities and Social Simulation (John Bragin)

  • (Brian Clegg)

  • HCI International News, Number 36, July 2009

  • Neurdon (Derek James)

  • Technology and Society Book Reviews (Curt Frye)

  • JCardente

  • Marcus Jenal

  • A World To Win (Stuart Barlow)

  • Insights Intelligence Innovation ( Paul Schumann )

  • Society of Actuaries Forecasting and Futurism Newsletter (Dave Snell)

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