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Book review

Author(s) Becker, K.-H.
Dorfler, M.
Title Dynamical systems and fractals (Computer graphics experiments in Pascal)
Publisher Cambridge Univ. Press
Year of publication 1991
Reviewed by Mihai Postolache

This book has been written for all readers who want to study about dynamical systems and fractals from Pascal programming point of view. Accessible to readers with only a background in computers and calculus, the book deals with Julia and Mandelbrot sets, attractors, fractals, graftals, order and chaos as well as a lot of Pascal programs for drawing. Many computer experiments are integrated throughout the book to help illustrate the meaning of the concepts presented. Applications from physics, differential equations, numerical analysis are given.

Included in the book is the chapter "Building Blocks for Graphical Experiments". This is for readers who want to build themselves Pascal programs for computer experiments. I consider this software an invaluable tool for MS-DOS systems and so on. The book also contains a lot of applied exercises and problems selected on the basis of authors' experience in computer graphics at the University of Bremen (Research Group in Complex Dynamics).

The book is well produced and contains appendices with a figures index (page and caption), programs index (page and comments) and bibliography. The table of contents is sufficiently detailed.

Generally, the presentation is rigorous but is made for beginners. The authors aim to explain the beauty of dynamical systems and fractals to high school students and teachers, to applied mathematicians, physicists interested in these topics. Since dynamical systems are relevant in engineering as well as various life and social sciences, I expect that it will also be of interest to workers in these fields.