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Symmetry in Chaos: A Search for Pattern in Mathematics, Art and Nature, Second Edition

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by Michael Field and Martin Golubitsky


2009 / xiv + 199 pages / Hardcover / ISBN: 978-0-898716-72-6  / List Price $67.50 / SIAM Member Price $47.25 / Order Code OT111


"An impressive and beautiful exploration of an impressive and beautiful area of mathematics Ð the interplay between order and chaos. The images are breathtaking, the mathematics fundamental. Symmetry in Chaos is an important book, a work of art, and a joy to read."
-- Ian Stewart, author of Why Beauty is Truth

"A classic in the interdisciplinary field of art and mathematics, this very well written book takes the ingenious idea of combining symmetry with chaos to construct stunning images that anyone can enjoy, in particular mathematicians, who can also appreciate the underlying mathematics. Beautiful art cannot be the result of just clever computer graphics. The artist must also have a keen sense of color and that intangible artistic sensibility, which is present in Symmetry in Chaos. Anyone interested in the relationship of art and mathematics should read this book."
-- Nat Friedman, Director, International Society of the Arts, Mathematics and Architecture

Mathematical symmetry and chaos come together to form striking, beautiful color images throughout this impressive work, which addresses how the dynamics of complexity can produce familiar universal patterns.

The book, a richly illustrated blend of mathematics and art, was widely hailed in publications as diverse as the New York Review of Books, Scientific American, and Science when first published in 1992. This much-anticipated second edition features many new illustrations and addresses the progress made in the mathematics and science underlying symmetric chaos in recent years; for example, the classifications of attractor symmetries and methods for determining the symmetries of higher dimensional analogues of images in the book. In particular, the concept of patterns on average and their occurrence in the Faraday fluid dynamics experiment is described in a revised introductory chapter.

The ideas addressed in Symmetry in Chaos have been featured at various conferences on intersections between art and mathematics, including the annual Bridges conference, and in lectures to art students at the University of Houston.

To see some of the amazing images from Symmetry in Chaos, please click here.

Symmetry in Chaos: A Search for Pattern in Mathematics, Art, and Nature, Second Edition is accessible to mathematicians and non-mathematicians alike and will be especially appreciated by anyone who is scientifically literate or who has an interest in art, design, mathematics, or computing. It can also be used as a reference by advanced undergraduates and graduate students working in nonlinear dynamics or chaos.

About the Authors
Michael Field is a professor of mathematics at the University of Houston. His research is wide ranging and includes the statistical and geometric properties of dynamical systems, networks and symmetry. He is editor of several mathematics and interdisciplinary journals, including the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts. His computer art has been exhibited internationally at galleries, art schools, and many art and mathematics conferences.

Martin Golubitsky is Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the Ohio State University, where he serves as Director of the Mathematical Biosciences Institute. His research includes the effects of symmetry in dynamic systems and in applications. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, and he has served as President of SIAM (2005-06).

ISBN: 9780898716726

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