Book Review: Chaos Theory Uncovered


20160330_171607-1.jpgThis is part 2 of 4 in book reviews. These books are written by E.L. Strauss published by Thinxygen.com.

 Part 1: Global Explorer.

Chaos Theory Uncovered: How Chaos and Fractal Shape our World

I was not familiar with this type of math before I read this book.  So I was glad to see the author put the definition right on the first page to help me and future readers of this book. The definition for Chaos theory is the study if nonlinear dynamical systems displaying the property known as sensitivity to initial conditions. In Chaotic systems, events may seem random but are actually predictable from deterministic equations. Fractal are infinitely self-similar patterns which draw on chaotic principles.

Structure

I love how this book is structured. The author starts out with “Questions we Ask” page and a “What we Uncover” page to get the reader prepped for what they are about to read.  The “Questions we Ask” page is filled with several questions to help the reader get into the midset of what they are about to read. The “What we Uncover” page has several topics that will be discussed throughout the book.

At the beginning of each chapter there is a short outline in a linear representation. Below is a picture of the introduction of chapter 1.

20160401_104405-1

I like how the outline is more of a questionnaire rather than a list of what is going to be covered in the chapter. I believe this engages the reader more with the material ahead than just pointing out what is going to be covered. (I also thought it was interesting when the topic is chaos and nonlinear math that the author is using a straight line to show the material ahead.)

The last chapter is basically a short summary of the content that was covered. I see this as a way to check to see if you understand the concepts that were covered.

Content

As I stated before, I wasn’t familiar with this type of math, but after reading through this book I feel that I have a better understanding of Chaos Theory. The author lays out the material in an order that not only makes sense, but builds on the previous section. So in a sense it is like a spiral. Each concept is connected to and builds on the previous one mentioned. Along the spiral there are some facts and history to help us better understand how and why this type of math is important.

Along with solid content, the author provides many of the formulas that are used in Chaos Theory. The author doesn’t just give the formula and move on, she dives into the formula and explains each symbol and place value, along with an explanation of how the formula works. So if a student wants to try to fill in the formula with their own values they could see how and what their answers reveal.

Graphs, Pictures, and Charts

The author uses a lot of graphs, pictures, and charts. These pictures are very colorful, and add a second dimension to the understanding of the content. The pictures are sometimes magnified to see the different layers of details caused by the Chaos Theory math. The charts the author uses are to help students who read the book become more familiar with the content, and as a way to interact with the content.

Conclusion

This book is for high school students who have a clear grasp of upper level mathematical concepts. The vocabulary that is used is challenging. The glossary in the back is a great resource for students to use when they need a definition of a word.

I would definitely recommend this book to students who are interested in exploring how math can help explain the patterns around us. I would recommend this book to parents to buy for their high school students as a resource to use along with their books from school. I believe that parents who home school their children would see this book as an awesome resource.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Chaos Theory Uncovered

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Our Universe Revealed | Ramblings of a Gifted Teacher

  2. Pingback: Book Review: Complex Systems in Our World | Ramblings of a Gifted Teacher

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