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1. Linear System Theory and Design,
2. Goldratt's Theory of Constraints:
3. General System Theory: Foundations,
4. General Systems Theory - Beginning
5. Perspectives on General System
6. Linear Systems Theory
7. Control Theory and Systems Biology
8. Metaphors of Family Systems Theory:
9. Bringing Systems Thinking to Life:
10. Global Positioning System: Theory
11. General Systems Theory: Problems,
12. Mutual Causality in Buddhism and
13. Systems Theory and Family Therapy:
14. Scheduling: Theory, Algorithms,
15. Thinking in Systems: A Primer
16. Introduction to Dynamic Systems:
17. On Complexity (Advances in Systems
18. Quantum Field Theory of Many-body
19. Understanding Family Process:
20. Applied Control Theory for Embedded

1. Linear System Theory and Design, International 3rd. edition
by Chi-Tsong Chen
 Paperback: 352 Pages (2009-02-09)
list price: US$139.00 -- used & new: US$64.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195392078
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
With the advancement of technology, engineers need the systems they design not only to work, but to be the absolute best possible given the requirements and available tools.In this environment, an understanding of a system's limitations acquires added importance.Without such knowledge, one might unknowingly attempt to design an impossible system.Thus, a thorough investigation of all of a system's properties is essential.In fact, many design procedures have evolved from such investigations.For use at the senior-graduate level in courses on linear systems and multivariable system design, this highly successful text is devoted to this study and the design procedures developed thereof.It is not a control text, per se--since it does not cover performance criteria, physical constraints, cost, optimization, and sensitivity problems.Chen develops major results and design procedures using simple and efficient methods.Thus, the presentation is not exhaustive; only those concepts which are essential in the development are introduced. Problem sets--following each chapter--help students understand and utilize the concepts and results covered. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

1-0 out of 5 stars An expensive book with few details in linear system theory
I purchased this book because it was required for my graduate course. However, I found it is full of concepts with few examples or explanations when I read it. What's more, sometimes it does neither explain some concepts in a lucid way, nor provide illustrative examples to help you to understand them. Since there are many other excellent textbooks in the field of linear system, I exactly do not recommend this one. In my opinion, Brogan's Modern Control Theory is much better than it. Actually I referred to Brogan's book most time during the semester. Though it does not include Matlab codes since it was published 20 years ago, it is still an excellent alternative if you want to enhance your knowledge in linear system.

5-0 out of 5 stars good presentation of selected topics
Material in this book is very well presented in a concise and straightforward manner. However, I was unable to find some "important" things from linear system theory. For instance, Schur's determinant formula is used, but I was unable to find anything on the Schur complement in this book (which I thought was strange).

Some other less common topics are given excellent attention, such as coprime factorizations and decoupling compensator design. This book also offers criteria for the stability of linear time varying systems which I have not seen elsewhere.

Overall, this is a cool book. It is probably impractical to expect that one book should have everything about linear systems and control in one place. This book explains the things that it explains very well, so it gets 5 stars.

1-0 out of 5 stars Linear System Theory and Design
The arriving time is slower than the expected date. Very slow.
Book condition is new.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great item
The book is used which can be told from the cover, but very clean inside and the quality is very good.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Very good product and a great price.
The product came in time, was in great condition, well packed, it was very very well handled by amazon and the third party seller.
The price was very good as well. It was half the cost of what it is in my university bookstore. So this pretty much guarantees that I will get atleast my money's worth when I sell it(If I plan to). ... Read more

2. Goldratt's Theory of Constraints: A Systems Approach to Continuous Improvement
by William H. Dettmer
Hardcover: 378 Pages (1997-03-13)
list price: US$73.50 -- used & new: US$124.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0873893700
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Organizations live or die as systems not processes. Their success or failure is a function of how well the different component processes interact with one another. Real quality improvement isn't possible without the knowledge that comes from an understanding of the theory of knowledge, knowledge of variation, an understanding of psychology, and appreciation for systems. Goldratt's Theory of Constraints addresses best-selling author Eli Goldratt's unique approach to dramatically improving corporate performance, found throughout his books, The Goal (North River, 1992) and It's Not Luck (North River, 1994). This book thoroughly explains the theory of constraints, as well as detailing for the reader exactly how to problem solve using TOC. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars The How-To Book on Goldratts "Thinking Process"
This is an excellent book for learning about the thinking process of TOC. You get the basic symbols, an elegant way to present your drawings on multi-page layouts. More important, you learn how each piece of the thinking process fits into the larger picture. The following topics are covered in detail:

- Categories of legitimate reservation (CLR)
- Current reality tree (CRT)
- Conflict resolution diagram (CRD)
- Future reality tree (FRT)
- Prerequisite tree
- Transition tree
- Group dynamics of TOC.

What I have found most valuable in this book is that it teaches you how to use each technique and how they interact with each other. For example, I didn't know that there were may ways to start building a conflict resolution diagram but the author describes three: right-to-left, left-right-center and clockwise rotation. Each of the approaches has specific strengths. Finally, the last chapter on group dynamics is especially important when applying toc in a group context.

I have surely read this book a little too fast and will probably go back to it in a little while. For anyone interested in TOC this book is, in my opinion, a "must have" companion book.

5-0 out of 5 stars With No Formal Training, Working Straight From The Book
"Goldratt's Theory of Constraints has proved to be a milestone concept to process improvement.
Until now, the lack of a roll-up-your-sleeves guidelines to its foundational Thinking Processes has proved to be an implementing constraint.
Bill Dettmer's book puts that problem completely to rest and then some.
Combining Goldratt's concept with Dettmer's teaching ability provides a synergistic synergistic magic to learning; the Thinking Processes literally come alive."

David T. Novick, Ph.D.
Technical Advisor - Process Improvement
Autonetics & Missile Systems Division
Rockwell International Corporation

"If you are a veteran Theory of Constraints (TOC) implementor who has read The Goal and It's Not Luck, read Bill Dettmer's book to deepen your understanding, increase your skills, and accelerate the pace of your TOC projects.
If you're a newcomer to TOC, fasten your seatbelt now; you'll soon be making a more fundamental and more constructive difference --- on a greater number of more important and complex projects --- than ever before."

Thomas B. McMullen Jr.
Chairman, APICS Constraints Management SIG

"WITH NO FORMAL TRAINING, WORKING STRAIGHT FROM THE BOOK, we were able to use the Thinking Process tools to make sommon sense out of our complex system.
Dettmer's book gave us the tools we needed to move forward---confident that we were on the right track.
We now have a well-organized plan of action, focused on our core problem, that is having a significant impact on your organization."

Brad Harrison and Rich Metcalf
Tower Automotive
[from the back of jacket]

H. William Dettmer has 20 years of leadership and management experience in operations and logistics environments and is a successful manager of multimillion-dollar projects and contracting activities.
He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern California and has taught extensively at the graduate level on the topics of the Theory of Constraints, total quality management, project management, systems analysis, management control systems, and organizational behavior and development.
Dettmer earned a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University and a master's degree from the University of Southern California....."
[from the back falp]

5-0 out of 5 stars Better Than Goldratt
Dettmer has passed his one time mentor - Eliy Goldratt - in practical knowledge of Theory of Constraints.

Mr. Dettmer's book is written for PRACTITIONERS - those process improvement professionals interested in attaining RESULTS - as opposed to theorists like Goldratt.Dettmer's book is straightforward, easy to follow, and gives the reader something he/she can apply immediately.Serves as a stellar reference for anyone who's attended Theory of Constraints training or pursuing graduate degrees in Quality Systems Management.

3-0 out of 5 stars high thickness to content ratio
This book is padded to 378 pages.It is repetitive with long summaries and example at the end of each chapter.A table of contents at the begining of each chapter.Rhetoric questions in the text. Diagrams for simple ideas that don't need them.
I was looking for a book to explain the basics of TOC and to this end the book was helpful - it just could have been half the size.

5-0 out of 5 stars This really _IS_ Brain Surgery!!!
Some folks who just now may be getting to know the Theory of Constraints (TOC) might be surprised at what they find in this book.Open it at random to any page, and you are looking at a diagram of some sort!This text is not about bottle necks and constraints; it is not about Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM).Rather, it is about the "Thinking Tools" of TOC.

So many great philosophies and theories of management become fashionable -- only then to suffer the indignity of superficial implementations at the hands of hasty zealots.TQM and Lean are two examples of important movements which were the basis of many failed projects in industry.In the final analysis, "Knowing what you are talking about" is often the missing ingredient.Moreover, when you are struggling to get "out of the box," how can you be sure you don't fall victim to the same assumptions (to your own self-deceptions) that put you there in the first place?

Dettmer's cornerstone text "Goldratt's Theory of Constraints: A Systems Approach to Continuous Improvement" takes you in [baby] steps through the entire TOC Thinking Process.Many will find this process excruciating perhaps, but this is what it takes.There are five graphical tools, five different [network] trees, one uses to analyze problems and solutions, and the especially important path between these two "realities."Dettmer takes great care to show you how to be sure of every single piece of your puzzle as you seek honestly to characterize your Current Reality, the Future Reality, the Prerequisites, and the Transition (the step-by-step plan).These represent four of the "Trees" (CRT, FRT, PRT, TT), and the Conflict Resolution Diagram (CRD) is the fifth.In addition to these, Dettmer explains the "Categories of Legitimate Reservation," which are the logic rules one uses to guide the TOC Thinking Process.

On page 22 Dettmer says, "These trees, the Categories of Legitimate Reservation, and how to use them is the subject of this book."Indeed, it really is.Nearly 400 pages of precision, it's no barrel of laughs; I can tell you that!But after scanning a dozen other books for exactly how to do this, I was happy to find someone who finally was willing to bite the bullet and get it done.

Plus, he knows what he is talking about.

Once you have the Transition Tree, you'll possibly want to formulate and track your implementation project using the Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) methods of TOC (as opposed to the failure prone Critical Path Method).There are many books on that subject.And there are now CCPM Add-Ins for Microsoft Project from several companies.But it would be easy to question your plan if it were not subjected to the same degree of rigorous analysis described by Dettmer's book.In the final analysis, "Knowing what you are talking about" is all too often the missing ingredient.
... Read more

3. General System Theory: Foundations, Development, Applications (Revised Edition)
by Ludwig Von Bertalanffy
 Paperback: 296 Pages (1969-03-17)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$14.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807604534
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Gathered here are Ludwig von Bertalanffy's writings on general systems theory, selected and edited to show the evolution of systems theory and to present it applications to problem solving.An attempt to formulate common laws that apply to virtually every scientific field, this conceptual approach has had a profound impact on such widely diverse disciplines as biology, economics, psychology, and demography. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars STILL the best book on the subject
I've looked high and low for a text summarizing systems theory and I write this review in near shock having just finished this book.I say "shock" because I just can't believe how remarkably undated this book is after nearly 40 years (first edition 1969).I've read books by Checkland, Lazlo, Weinberg and many others but nothing summarizes the systems world view better than this classic.You've gotta love a scientist/philosopher who quotes Aldous Huxley liberally. I'd give it six stars if I could.

5-0 out of 5 stars General System Theory (Author:Ludwid von Bertalanffy).
The best view, writed on general system theory, selected and edited to show the evolution of systems theory and to present its applications to problem solving. Recommended on such widely diverse disciplines as biology, economics, psychology, and demography.

3-0 out of 5 stars Book for System People
This book is good to someone who wants to think about systems. However, is not the book aim to give details about the system definition. For example, is hard to see definitions of open system, feedback, components, inputs, outputs. The reason for that is the historical moment of the book.

It is a good book. Anyone who thinks about system should own this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars He changed modern population theory
Although he wrote a lot about the general theory of systems,
I think it is his approach to the problems of how living systems
interact with their environment in a catabolic manner
that makes him really important.
He has had impact from fields like biology to
fluid dynamics.
He set a standard for how we think about history
and with Lewis F. Richardson The Collected Papers of Lewis Fry Richardson (Collected Papers of Lewis Fry Richardson, Vol 2)and Isaac AsimovThe Foundation Trilogy
made a science possible.

5-0 out of 5 stars General Systems Theory is DEEP
Bertalanffy is one of the best educated men and deepest thinkers ever.General Systems Theory is a monument to his greatness.Keep a dictionary handy, and brush up on your Latin.This is the top of the intellectual mountain, where men no longer tread. ... Read more

4. General Systems Theory - Beginning With Wholes
by Barbara G. Hanson
Hardcover: 160 Pages (1995-06-01)
list price: US$37.50 -- used & new: US$33.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560323450
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Though general systems theory is currently the prevailing paradigm in family therapy and social work, there is no accessible text which treats its basic concepts. This book fills the gap by presenting the central ideas of general systems theory in clear and simple language, with a focus on the social sciences. The most important traditional ideas of systemstheory are considered along with new ideas running into the21st Century.;It begins with Aristotle's notion that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. These emergent wholes become the focus of attention in order to study things which are joint productions, like the arms race and intimate relations. Thinking in systems terms means seeing that change in one part changes all parts, like the thaw of the Cold War leading ultimately to the Gulf War. It allows a fresh analytic stance without the necessity of blame that made thingsworse, such as the retributive policy toward Germany after World War 1, or DDT. New language like feedback gives a way to view social phenomena in terms of systems processes, which may magnify or distort the ultimate effects of actions on a system.;Human systems suggest adding several characteristic ... Read more

5. Perspectives on General System Theory: Scientific-Philosophical Studies (The International library of systems theory and philosophy)
by Ludwig Von Bertalanffy
 Hardcover: 183 Pages (1976-06)
list price: US$8.95
Isbn: 0807607975
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6. Linear Systems Theory
by Joao P. Hespanha
Hardcover: 280 Pages (2009-08-24)
list price: US$59.95 -- used & new: US$47.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0691140219
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Linear systems theory is the cornerstone of control theory and a well-established discipline that focuses on linear differential equations from the perspective of control and estimation. In this textbook, João Hespanha covers the key topics of the field in a unique lecture-style format, making the book easy to use for instructors and students. He looks at system representation, stability, controllability and state feedback, observability and state estimation, and realization theory. He provides the background for advanced modern control design techniques and feedback linearization, and examines advanced foundational topics such as multivariable poles and zeros, and LQG/LQR.

The textbook presents only the most essential mathematical derivations, and places comments, discussion, and terminology in sidebars so that readers can follow the core material easily and without distraction. Annotated proofs with sidebars explain the techniques of proof construction, including contradiction, contraposition, cycles of implications to prove equivalence, and the difference between necessity and sufficiency. Annotated theoretical developments also use sidebars to discuss relevant commands available in MATLAB, allowing students to understand these important tools. The balanced chapters can each be covered in approximately two hours of lecture time, simplifying course planning and student review. Solutions to the theoretical and computational exercises are also available for instructors.

Easy-to-use textbook in unique lecture-style format Sidebars explain topics in further detail Annotated proofs and discussions of MATLAB commands Balanced chapters can each be taught in two hours of course lecture Solutions to exercises available to instructors ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Amazon-er!
I ordered it on sunday night and it came on monday two weeks later. It arrived within the deadline, so I have no complaints. The book is in great shape, and it seems almost like new. ... Read more

7. Control Theory and Systems Biology
Hardcover: 384 Pages (2009-11-30)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$29.17
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Asin: 0262013347
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Issues of regulation and control are central to the study of biological and biochemical systems. Thus it is not surprising that the tools of feedback control theory—engineering techniques developed to design and analyze self-regulating systems—have proven useful in the study of these biological mechanisms. Such interdisciplinary work requires knowledge of the results, tools and techniques of another discipline, as well as an understanding of the culture of an unfamiliar research community. This volume attempts to bridge the gap between disciplines by presenting applications of systems and control theory to cell biology that range from surveys of established material to descriptions of new developments in the field.

The first chapter offers a primer on concepts from dynamical systems and control theory, which allows the life scientist with no background in control theory to understand the concepts presented in the rest of the book. Following the introduction of ordinary differential equation-based modeling in the first chapter, the second and third chapters discuss alternative modeling frameworks. The remaining chapters sample a variety of applications, considering such topics as quantitative measures of dynamic behavior, modularity, stoichiometry, robust control techniques, and network identification.

Contributors: David Angeli, Declan G. Bates, Eric Bullinger, Peter S. Chang, Domitilla Del Vecchio, Francis J. Doyle III, Hana El-Samad, Dirk Fey, Rolf Findeisen, Simone Frey, Jorge Gonçalves, Pablo A. Iglesias, Brian P. Ingalls, Elling W. Jacobsen, Mustafa Khammash, Jongrae Kim, Eric Klavins, Eric C. Kwei, Thomas Millat, Jason E. Shoemaker, Eduardo D. Sontag, Stephanie R. Taylor, David Thorsley, Camilla Trané, Sean Warnick, Olaf Wolkenhauer ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars I found this book unhelpful and disjointed.
I decided to take a chance and buy it based on the description.I won't do that again.Comparing this book's content and presentation to other 'systems biology' books I've read, this is the most difficult and least coherent I have ever seen, and I was not able to apply anything in the chapters to any of the regulatory modeling problems I was interested in.Either this is a much, much more specialized book than described, or it's just not well edited.Based on comparisons to recent papers of interest in control models for regulatory & metabolic networks, I have to conclude the latter.

As a point of comparison, I find Bolouri's and Shmulevich's books and papers to be quite useful, typically both rigorous and clear.So there's my bias to consider. ... Read more

8. Metaphors of Family Systems Theory: Toward New Constructions
by Paul C. Rosenblatt PhD
Paperback: 239 Pages (1997-02-07)
list price: US$29.00 -- used & new: US$28.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572301724
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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This innovative book probes the language of family systems theory, demonstrating how metaphors shape our understanding both of families themselves and of the goals and process of therapy. The author shows how a deeper understanding of standard theoretical metaphors--and the development of alternatives--can help clinicians and students identify hidden assumptions, incorporate perspectives that may otherwise have been overlooked, and forge creative new meanings in clinical practice.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars A bridge for shifting from systems therapy to postmodern narrative approaches
The last reviewer missed the whole point. This book is about "family systems theory," not about "metaphors." The author traces the historical development of family systems theory which is the cornerstone of the revolutionary family thherapy paradigms developed in the 50s and flourished in the 70s and 80s. Howerver, paradigms do change. A newer and more radical "narrative" paradigm is replacing the old family systems framework that is gradually dominating the family therapy field. Anyone interested can go read White & Epston's "Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends" (1990, W. W. Norton) for details. The Rosenblatt's book was written in mid 90s, and the field then was just starting to embrace the narrative approaches. This book took on the seldom taken step to trace and re-examine the theoretical background that governed the family therapy field, and found several distinguishable "metaphors" (or more clearly to say "dominant discourses") that lie behind the writings of early family therapy gurus. Though not a easy read, this book provides a bridge and reflective space for those start to criticize the hegemony of family therapy movement. The readers are advised to have some preliminary understanding of family therapy and systems concepts in advance. Though the author is not obviously favorable to narrative therapy in the writings, he has provided a important stepping stone for those who want to shift from systems thinking to narrative thinking. Contrary to the last reviewer, I think this book should stay on all die-hard family systems therapists's bookshelves!

1-0 out of 5 stars Fodder for used book stores
Paul Rosenblatt, Professor in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota has written an exhaustive analysis of the metaphors of family systems theory.

According to Oxford's English Dictionary, a metaphor is defined as "the figure of speech in which a name or descriptive term is transferred to some object different from, but analogous to, that to which it is properly applicable..."Rosenblatt starts out with metaphors that we discussed in class, for example, the family is a river, or the family is a house (pp. 42-47).The river metaphor fits; families are likened unto it since, like a river, families are always changing, both in content, and in direction.Every metaphor, while shedding light and meaning onto that to which it is compared, at the same time, some portion of meaning is obscured, and in pointing that out, Rosenblatt makes a valuable contribution to the understanding of families.

Continuing with the river metaphor, families are not like rivers in that a river can be concretely traced to its sources.Over time, families' sources are lost, for our roots go back into the untraceable mists of time.In drawing our attention both to how metaphors shed light, and how they obscure meaning, Rosenblatt sensitizes us to metaphoric limitation and in some sense, metaphoric obfuscation.

For whatever reason, however, Rosenblatt takes the notion of metaphor, stretching its meaning to the point that it is practically unrecognizable when compared with the Oxford definition.Intuitively, we "get" how a family can be likened unto a river, or a house, or a tapestry, or many other things.But a metaphor of listening (chapter 7)?Of communication pathology (p. 171)?These are not metaphors.One wonders if the appropriate application of "metaphor" was so limited in terms of legitimate content that the author found it necessary to pad his work in order to make it publishable.Appropriate discussion of metaphor was so skinny, and inappropriate use so long-winded, the book ended up being tedious and extremely difficult to complete.This is definitely a one-shot read; this volume will undoubtedly find its way to a used bookstore in the not-too-distant future. ... Read more

9. Bringing Systems Thinking to Life: Expanding the Horizons for Bowen Family Systems Theory
Paperback: 430 Pages (2010-10-14)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$31.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415800471
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In a single volume, Bringing Systems Thinking to Life: Expanding the Horizons for Bowen Family Systems Theory presents the extraordinary diversity and breadth of Bowen theory applications that address human functioning in various relationship systems across a broad spectrum of professions, disciplines, cultures, and nations. Providing three chapters of never-before-published material by Dr. Bowen, the book also demonstrates the transcendent nature and versatility of Bowen theory-based social assessment and its extension into fields of study and practice far beyond the original psychiatric context in which it was first formulated including social work, psychology, nursing, education, literary studies, pastoral care and counseling, sociology, business and management, leadership studies, distance learning, ecological science, and evolutionary biology. Providing ample evidence that Bowen theory has joined that elite class of theories that have enjoyed broad application to social phenomena while lending credibility to the claim that Bowen theory is one of the previous and current centuries’ most significant social-behavioral theories. More than a “resource manual” for Bowen theory enthusiasts, this book helps put a new great theory on the intellectual landscape. ... Read more

10. Global Positioning System: Theory & Applications (Volume One) (Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics)
Hardcover: 793 Pages (1996-01-15)
list price: US$119.95 -- used & new: US$48.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 156347106X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This two-volume set explains the technology, performance, and applications of the Global Positioning System (GPS). This set is the only one of its kind to present the history of GPS development, the basic concepts and theory of GPS, and the recent developments and numerous applications of GPS.

Each chapter is authored by an individual or group of individuals who are recognized as leaders in their area of GPS. These various viewpoints promote a thorough understanding of the system and make Global Positioning System: Theory and Applications the standard reference source for the Global Positioning System.

The two volumes are intended to be complementary. Volume I concentrates on fundamentals and Volume II on applications. It is recommended for university engineering students, practicing GPS engineers, applications engineers, and managers who wish to improve their understanding of the system. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Global Positioning System: Theory & Applications
This book is very technical so for the beginners in GPS i can not recommedyou to read this book. however, for scientific community, this book is"a must'

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the essential treatment of GPS for engineers.
These volumes comprehensively treat the entire body of knowledge concerning GPS control, satellites, propagation, receivers, and use. There is an extensive discussion of GPS errors: raw, differential, corrected, and the encrypted precisepositioning service.

Unlike IEEE volumes that seem to be magazine articles jammed together, these volumes appear to use systematic, top-down architecture of the outline. Each section is a coherent explanation of the topic, without any unevenness in coverage.

The authors are well-known principals in this field. Spilker, for instance, has generated the most significant books in digital communications; modulation and demodulation being his specialty.

I found these volumes to be so impressive that I bought the set for my personal use. ... Read more

11. General Systems Theory: Problems, Perspectives, Practice
by Lars Skyttner
Paperback: 536 Pages (2006-01-04)
list price: US$100.00 -- used & new: US$59.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9812564675
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Systems theorists see common principles in the structure and operation of systems of all kinds and sizes. They promote an interdisciplinary science adapted for a universal application with a common language and area of concepts. In order to solve problems, make recommendations and predict the future, they use theories, models and concepts from the vast area of general systems theory. This approach is chosen as a means to overcome the fragmentation of knowledge and the isolation of the specialist but also to find new approaches to problems created by earlier ‘solution of problems.’This revised and updated second edition of General Systems Theory — Ideas and Applications includes new systems theories and a new chapter on self-organization and evolution. The book summarizes most of the fields of systems theory and its application systems science in one volume. It provides a quick and readable reference guide for future learning containing both general theories and practical applications without the use of complicated mathematics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow, this is just great
This is a very full, but precise and easy to read overview of systems theory and systems concepts. If you qain to gain an understanding of systems theory this is for you. You can then see areas you may have a special interest in to study further. It brought everything together in a coherent whole for me. OI am very appreciative of having this wonderful resource.

5-0 out of 5 stars Complex and Broad
I purchased this book for a systems theory class.I found it to have enormous amounts of information on a wide variety of topics, issues, theories, and scientists as well as numerous disciplines provided within a historical context that illuminates the evolution of systems theory and systems thinking.Skytnner's discussion of GST as morphing into a metadiscipline of Systems Science, a new holistic approach in conjunction with a review of numerous systems, and his discussion on everyone from Bertalanffy and Boulding to ideas of GST covers any and all questions, topics, issues and contributions anyone could ask about GST.

It stands as quite an ambitious book in its scope.I felt it could have been two possibly three separate and distinct books.While amazing in the amount of information it holds, it proves more than adequate in covering that information in a user friendly format.

I have read Bertalanffy's GST and found that to be quite small in its breadth.Reading both books provides an excellent scope for any systems class or paper discussing the theory.I highly recommend this book.

Skytnner starts with an introduction to systems theory, its evolution and
covers an impressive amount of theories from various authors and disciplines. Part 2, 7 covers artificial intelligence which I found most intriguing, as well as the section 10 on informatics.The book concludes with the future of systems theory and man's search for a unifying general principle or theory and the problems that arise from excessive splintering of new sub-disciplines within fields.

I favor the discussions on consciousness and the mind body connection andenjoy how Skytnner fully exposes all the criticisms and the respect for system theory.Purchase this book along with Bertalanffy's and you will not need any further reading to successfully understand both the past and the present state of systems theory and how it evolved within its historical context and all of the contributions in a wide variety of disciplines.The review questions and problems at the end of each chapter encourages absorption and retention of the material and is a successful tool in reviewing often complex and intertwining topics, as are the definitions of great importance the author highlights in bold.

2-0 out of 5 stars suitable for high school students...
It is vague and confused and superficial and juvenile.

The classic by von Bertalanffy is far superior. ... Read more

12. Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory: The Dharma of Natural System (Buddhist Studies Series)
by Joanna R. Macy
Paperback: 236 Pages (1991-07)
list price: US$31.95 -- used & new: US$23.72
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Asin: 0791406377
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Dependence Arising...The Wheel of Life
I still refer to this book when considering the Wisdom aspect of the Dharma. Although most western published books on Dependence Arising and the related subject of Inherent Emptiness, are written from a Mahayana perspective (Garfield, Napper, Hopkins, et alia) commenting on the philosophy of Nagarjuna or Chandrakirti, Macy's book is based on her Sri Lankan co-operative experience and the language is Pali rather than Sanskrit. Nevertheless, this is the BEST introduction to Dependence Arising by far. It explains the philosophy well, and grounds it in practical experience as well as making connection with the Greek Pre-Socratics. This is not a chickey-horsey-ducky guide, but it does explain the Buddhist view of dependence arising (though not Inherent Emptiness) giving the reader the vocabulary to relate a Buddhist worldview with modern society.

5-0 out of 5 stars The real science in Buddhism
Joanna Macy cuts through the nonsense dispensed in thing like the the "Tao of Physics" to reveal the real scientific basis of Buddhist concepts. Drawing heavily on Systems theory (cybernetics), she shows thatthe Buddhist view of the universe as system of ever-changing subsystems indynamic interaction is not just a scientifically valid view, but aprofoundly spiritual one as well. She lights the way to a Buddhism that isno longer dependent on supernaturalism, but yields nothing of itsprofundity. Her interpretations of traditional Buddhist concepts likeno-self and karma are masterful. Every Buddhist should read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Here's why Buddhism is a better Meme than Scientism.
I knew there was some reason I was attracted to both General Systems and Buddhism, and that they had something in common.This book told me why.

Joanna Macy maintains her "scholastic" focus on the task of comparing these two systems of thought throughout the text, and thereby succeeds briliantly in explaining the basic meaning (singlular) of both systems. ... Read more

13. Systems Theory and Family Therapy: A Primer
by Raphael J. Becvar
Paperback: 144 Pages (1998-12-23)
list price: US$38.00 -- used & new: US$31.00
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Asin: 0761812954
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Systems Theory and Family Therapy describes the basic concepts of systems theory and its application in family therapy in a clear, understandable manner with many illustrations drawn from clinical practice. This edition provides a revised and updated version of the original, that simplifies a complex area of study, enabling students to learn the subject more easily without being overwhelmed by the language normally employed in presenting these subjects. The authors discuss the distinctions between modernism and postmodernism as well as first-order and second-order cybernetics. They also include discussions of constructivism and social constructionism, as well as the ramifications of these perspectives for the theory and practice of family therapy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Engaging, challenging, extremely well written
The Becvar's once again offer top-notch explanations of a sometimes difficult subject. This book is a must read for all individuals interested in integrating strong systems thinking and intervention into practice. ... Read more

14. Scheduling: Theory, Algorithms, and Systems
by Michael L. Pinedo
Hardcover: 678 Pages (2008-07-24)
list price: US$99.00 -- used & new: US$63.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0387789340
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book on scheduling covers theoretical models as well as scheduling problems in the real world. Author Michael Pinedo also includes a CD that contains slide-shows from industry and movies dealing with implementations of scheduling systems. The book consists of three parts. The first part focuses on deterministic scheduling with the associated combinatorial problems. The second part covers probabilistic scheduling models. In this part it is assumed that processing times and other problem data are not known in advance. The third part deals with scheduling in practice. It covers heuristics that are popular with practitioners and discusses system design and development issues. Each chapter contains a series of computational and theoretical exercises. This book is of interest to theoreticians and practitioners alike. Graduate students in operations management, operations research, industrial engineering and computer science will find the book to be an accessible and invaluable resource. Scheduling will serve as an essential reference for professionals working on scheduling problems in manufacturing and computing environments. Michael Pinedo is the Julius Schlesinger Professor of Operations Management at New York University. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars In a class by itself
This book (and its previous two editions) is in a class by itself for scheduling theory. Although it is oriented toward machine scheduling, there is a lot of material that traditional real-time scheduling researchers and practitioners ought to become aware of if they want to move out of their historical niche. There are several other books that are devoted to deterministic scheduling, but this one includes stochastic scheduling -- much of the real world is non-deterministic. The book is well written and easy to read. This edition's new material is especially welcome because the author continues to emphasize the practicality of scheduling theory.

5-0 out of 5 stars A nice book on machine scheduling
Pinedo's book is an excellent reference for almost all problems in machine scheduling.The author is very economic with words and yet the explanations are incredibly clear.I use it for a graduate course in Scheduling that I teach. I often find myself referring to it whenever I need to review some particular class of scheduling problems.There is a chapter on metaheuristics that explains how these methods work - this is a bonus given that the book concentrates on theoretically rigorous methods.What I really like is the fact that step-by-step descriptions of many algorithms are provided, which can be used directly to write computer programs.The interested reader will find results related to structures of many scheduling problems.Overall this is a great book for teaching and research reference purposes.I have read two other texts on scheduling and I must say that this is by far the best.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent literature review, Great Theories But... Expensive
Pinedo did an excellent job for compiling the stories of scheduling system.For a new researcher/grad student in scheduling issue, this is the book that you need -before jump to library and search through all journals.The organization is slightly complicate.So readers may need to prepare their study plan before going through the book from cover to cover. I don't own this book, still; just read it from the library.This book deserves 5 or even 6 stars if the price is more affordable. I wish I have it when got a real job after graduation. ... Read more

15. Thinking in Systems: A Primer
by Donella H. Meadows
Paperback: 240 Pages (2008-12-03)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.98
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Asin: 1603580557
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In the years following her role as the lead author of the international bestseller, Limits to Growth—the first book to show the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet— Donella Meadows remained a pioneer of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001.

Meadows’ newly released manuscript, Thinking in Systems, is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute’s Diana Wright, this essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life.

Some of the biggest problems facing the world—war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation—are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking.

While readers will learn the conceptual tools and methods of systems thinking, the heart of the book is grander than methodology. Donella Meadows was known as much for nurturing positive outcomes as she was for delving into the science behind global dilemmas. She reminds readers to pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable, to stay humble, and to stay a learner.

In a world growing ever more complicated, crowded, and interdependent, Thinking in Systems helps readers avoid confusion and helplessness, the first step toward finding proactive and effective solutions. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars Zoom Out Before Zooming On and In
In the middle of the book, Donella outlines the 12 most strategic intervention points within a system. Her number one, most strategic intervention point is in transcending paradigms. That's what this book fosters -- transcending paradigms.

Become a meta thinker, look at the systemic whole before becoming entranced and consumed by the minuscule details. If zen could be put into scientific models, I see it taking a form very similar to this book. Systems thinking is a zen level of thinking, beyond our egoic tendencies and habits -- finding where information or resources flow from, end up, what feedback loops are perpetuating or limiting the system. We are ourselves very complex systems, embedded within millions of systems. This book is a wonderful introduction to systems thinking, and will benefit all who pick it up.

As a whole-systems designer, this reading has had huge implications on my professional and personal works. Step back, take a deep breath, observe before interpreting, see the system flow. That's HUGE, no matter where you live, work, play, this writing will add new dimensions to your mental models. One may find themselves instead of observing isolated events or objects, seeing the many influences, interconnections and feedback loops that create and give life to observed reality.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised
I agree with many of the reviews that this book was very hard to get into.The writing is rather dry and I couldn't really get into the diagrams. I was required to read this book for a class and I really struggled to get interested (which is why I started looking for reviews/summaries in the first place!).I also agree with some of the reviews that many of the points she makes seem pretty obvious.

However, the further I got into the book, the more interested I became.She has excellent real-life examples that I honestly wasn't expecting based on the start of the book. Though I thought some of the beginning portions were obvious I appreciated the simple to complex build up. I don't think I would have enjoyed/understood the ending as much had I skimmed the beginning. I had a hard time putting it down during the last few chapters and an even harder time not regaling my friends with her insights when I finished! Also, important to note that this book is Thinking in Systems: A PRIMER. So in reality, readers should be expecting some "obvious" points.

Overall, I STRONGLY recommend this book.I would give it 5 stars, except that it is so hard to get into.BUT TRY, I promise it's worth it!

5-0 out of 5 stars D. Meadows is brilliant
A great book by a great communicator and thinker. A while ago I realized that the truly brilliant people were not the ones that dazzled with complex thoughts. but those cancommunicate complex concepts in a conversational manner. In that,Donella Meadows was truly brilliant. The book is an excellent starting point for systems thinking. The chapter Leverage Points in a System is a paradigm changer. Her book LImits to Growth is a tour de force on sustainability - written in 1972 (and updated every 10-20 years) it's scary relevant. Read anything and everything she wrote or was involved in.

3-0 out of 5 stars Stating the obvious?
This book was a hard one to really get interested in.Things are connected to other things, and the connections are sometimes complicated.Since I am an ecologist, perhaps this is a bit too obvious.

Author Donella Meadows writes well (okay... dry), but Thinking in Systems: A Primer, just doesn't set off any new "thinking bells" for me.Look at any problem in only one or two dimensions, and you will have an incomplete picture of what is happening and what can happen.

C.S. Holling's note that ecological systems have the characteristics of complexity, uncertainty, and surprise meshes well with Meadows' perspectives.

1-0 out of 5 stars Politically Correct Indoctrination
Pages 1-100 provide a brief description of systems analysis concepts that the author, Donella Meadows, usedto develop software models. That part reads almost like a manual. It's fairly straight forward.

Pages 101-to the end are pure political polemics. Meadows prattles on advancing a left-wing political agenda using cheap shots and weak arguments that only a Marxist academic would seriously consider.

It's laughably sad when she blasts capitalism while heaping praise on Karl Marx. Unfortunately for the book, the reason her arguments are so weak is that she applies different standards to what she supports and opposes. She's made up her mind. It's black and white. One can do no wrong, the other no right.

Truth be told, systems analysis does not favor any economic system or political ideology. Perhaps that is why Meadows chose not to publish the book during her lifetime. Her colleagues published it for her posthumously.

Meadows also wrote the Club of Rome book Limits to Growth, which modeled the entire world using 1000 formulas in her systems software. She extrapolated the simple model into the future, and predicted catastrophic doom for planet Earth unless population and economic growth were drastically reduced. Although she does discuss the World model, she does not address the legitimate concerns about limits, where model use is useful and appropriate and where it is not appropriate or responsible.

Ultimately, Meadows uses systems analysis like a big wooden club to advance her political views. The reader should at least be forewarned, because that is a significant limitation on the usefulness of the book. If you tend to hold similar views, you may like the book. If you do not share those views, you may want to keep looking.

... Read more

16. Introduction to Dynamic Systems: Theory, Models, and Applications
by David G. Luenberger
Paperback: 464 Pages (1979-05-28)
-- used & new: US$130.00
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Asin: 0471025941
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Integrates the traditional approach to differential equations with the modern systems and control theoretic approach to dynamic systems, emphasizing theoretical principles and classic models in a wide variety of areas. Provides a particularly comprehensive theoretical development that includes chapters on positive dynamic systems and optimal control theory. Contains numerous problems. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A solid grounding in the basic modeling tools
This book provides an excellent way to learn linear algebra by using it to derive the properties of linear dynamic systems. It also includes a good introduction to nonlinear systems and control theory. There are many classic examples and a wealth of challenging exercises. My first exposure to it was auditing Prof. Luenberger's course as a Visiting Scholar (NOAA fellow) at Stanford in 1977. At that time the book was still in the developmental stage as mimeographed notes. What it does not cover is statistics and especially the nonlinear regression needed to adjust dynamical models to fit data. And there is nary a word about numerical analysis or computer methods, which are essential for modeling non-trivial systems.It also was too early to pick up on the chaos fad a decade later. All in all, I can say that this book inspired me to do more work in dynamic systems and it can still do the same for both students and established scientists and engineers.The Art of Modeling Dynamic Systems: Forecasting for Chaos, Randomness and Determinism (Dover Books on Mathematics)

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book
David Luenberger has a very polished writing style, so much so I could imagine he could be entrusted to write the country's constitution.
This is one of the reasons I am drawn back to this book. Another great aspect of this book is the motivation for the mathematics, you never wonder why this or that was introduced. There are varied examples that come up and get dealt with several times in this book. In other words this builds up your intuition.
However you have to realise that this is not a reference book, it's a book that has to be read from start to finish and the reader has to go with the flow. There are times in which the proofs and definitions are glossed over, so this could be a reason to remove a star from the rating, but a conscientious reader could fill in the missing details with patience and some hard thinking.
All in all, a good book for self study which requires very little prior knowledge(just high school mathematics and basic calculus) and which gives you just enough of the mathematics to take you where the author wants to.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good book, but consider a used copy!
This "2001 edition" (according to Amazon) was actually copyrighted in 1979.While the book remains very useful, prospective consumers may wish to consider a good used copy in order to save some money.

Although the publication date is misleading, at least Wiley correctly prints the original copyright date within its "new" texts (there are other examples of this practice).Springer-Verlag performs still greater magic.In "Linear and Nonlinear Programming", also by Luenberger, Springer decided to print the copyright date as 2003 instead of 1984, thus giving the impression that the text contains an up-to-date treatment of the subject matter.If I were buying a copy of "Green Eggs and Ham", I would not care about an incorrect copyright date.However, where technical subjects are concerned, this practice borders on fraud (in my view).It is a deliberate attempt to deceive its customers into believing that they are purchasing something more current and relevant than is actually the case.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent treatment of dynamic systems
This introduction to dynamic systems is presented with an algebraic formalism which makes things clear and concise. All concepts are explained intuitively as well as formally, having in mind the objective of making things clear. Few books exhibit such a good approach and other reviewers are right when they emphasize the highly pedagogical quality of Luenberger's books ! This is no overstatement.

The advantage of using this algebraic formulation lies in the simplicity as well as the understandability of the state-space approach, which is best explained in those terms. Most books assume that everyone knows what a state space is without explicitly showing what it is really about. This book just uses the reverse assumption, in that you're not asssumed to know everything before getting into it.

Only some basic knowledge in algebra (undergraduate-level) is required but even without experience in algebraic formalism, it is possible to go through the content thanks to the important number of examples and the intuitive explanations.

A must-read !

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent supplementary reading of Linear System Theory
The economic application examples are interesting for engineering students. ... Read more

17. On Complexity (Advances in Systems Theory, Complexity, and the Human Sciences)
by Edgar Morin
 Perfect Paperback: 127 Pages (2008-07-29)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$17.05
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Asin: 1572738014
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In this extremely valuable volume of essays Morin turns his attention to the technical and philosophical underpinnings of complexity theory and applies it to a wide-ranging number of issues. These essays will certainly stimulate the critical debate within complexity circles, but is also essential reading for anybody interested in our complex world and how to live in it. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning!
I have never had the chance to read Morin's work, even though at college is a well-known philosopher. Now that I've been reading a lot of books concerning Education, much of the writters, philosophers, educators, sociologists, refer to Morin so I bought, for starters, this book. The complex paradox explained by Morin is simply stunning and I just couldn't stop reading the book. For people who is curious to understand the complexity of the human beings, and in life itself, has to read this. My intention is to keep reading Morin.

5-0 out of 5 stars About "On Complexity"
Edgar Morin is one of the most prestigious figures in French, and indeed European, culture.
Giovanni Reale, Author A History of Ancient Philosophy, Professor, Università San Raffaele, Milan, Italy

Edgar Morin is a person with a deep understanding of the social and historical aspects of human life.This understanding is the source of his concern and reflections on epistemology and complex systems.It is also the reason that what he says in those domains deserves to be read carefully.
Humberto Maturana Romesin, Instituto de Formacion Matriztica, Co-author, The Tree of Knowledge.

I have not been this excited about anything rooted in general system theory since reading von Bertalanffy and Boulding many years ago. As one invested in interpretive epistemology and related methodologies, I had all but given up any hope of inspiration from this quarter. But Edgar Morin has changed all that with this marvelous book. Not only does he reinvigorate general systems theory, and its close companion complexity theory, by giving their epistemological foundations some much needed attention, he has laid down a tantalizing challenge to think more complexly about everything from self to society and provided plenty of inspiration for doing so. I hope that all my colleagues in organization studies will read this book and respond to it. It is deserving not only of our attention, but will be of interest to those working in all the fields of science, social science and the humanities.
Mary Jo Hatch
Author, Organization Theory: Modern, Symbolic, and Postmodern Perspectives
Professor Emeritus
McIntire School of Commerce
University of Virginia, USA

It is apt that Edgar Morin's book should be published at the beginning at the new Millennium because what he is proposing is a radical shift in the scientific paradigm.In place of separate sciences, all based upon a static, closed, regulated and law-abiding universe, Morin offers a trans-scientific view of the messy reality of hazard, uncertainty, accident and confusion.In this he suggests a creative, dynamic view of the world. At home in the newer disciplines of complexity theory, cybernetics and systems theories, he goes beyond them to represent a well based view of a vital world of novelty and life.The life sciences of biology, evolution, sociology, and business organization all would benefit from this refreshing and novel approach that looks at the world as we encounter it, not as it is filtered through the lenses of specialized, and isolated scientific disciplines.
Albert Low, Author of Creating Consciousness, Teacher, Montreal Zen Center

Morin has been one of the key figures of French green thought for over three decades. Anti-authoritarian and humanistic, his complex thought shows the urgency of favoring diversity, life, imagination and freedom in the co-evolution of nature and society.
Kerry Whiteside, author of Divided Nature. French Contributions to Political Ecology. Professor of Government, Franklin and Marshall College, USA

Edgar Morin's excellent On Complexity can be compared to some of the great books of modern culture such as Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Spinoza's Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione, and Vico's De Nostri Temporis Studiorum Ratione.
Jean-Louis Le Moigne, Emeritus Professor of Systems Science, University of Aix-Marseille

Morin has opened the way to real thinking about human nature, not reducing it to one of its components, bio-physico-chemical, social, psychological, religious, or political. Understanding the interactions between these components without confusion is the challenge of the sciences of complexity.
Henri Atlan
Author, Enlightenment to Enlightenment: Intercritique of Science and Myth
Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel
EHESS, Paris

The biology of 21st century is moving from the reductionist approach of molecular biology to the systems approach of the new science of systems biology. More than 20 years ago Edgar Morin had already articulated the paradigm of complexity that gives us the clues needed to address the conceptual changes in modern biology.
Senior scientist-CNRS (French National Research Center)
Deputy director USAR-CNRS

Morin is a representative thinker of humanity's planetary age. In remedying the deficiency of Western classic analytic thinking, Morin's complex thinking shows some affinities to the Chinese classic synthetic thinking, such as the emphasis on the union of the universal and the particular. Morin path indicates that the creation of the paradigm of complexity depends on the fusion of Western and Eastern thinking, each of which has its strength and weakness.
Yi-zhuang Chen, Professor of Philosophy, Central-South University, People's Republic of China

The Apollo of complexity, Edgar Morin is a solar presence, helping us to live and to hope. His work constitutes a major contribution to transdisciplinarity.
Basarab Nicolescu
Theoretical physicist, CNRS, University of Paris 6
Professor, University Babes-Bolyai de Cluj, Rumania
President, CIRET (International Center for Research on Transdisciplinary Studies).
Author of Manifesto of Transdisciplinarity.

Italy ranks among the countries that have paid closest attention to Morin's evocative reflections on complexity. Morin's work has had a profound impact on the nation's scientific, educational, and political landscape.
Sergio Manghi, Professor of Sociology, University of Parma

Edgar Morin's writing on film, its stars, and the human beings who engage with them, remains the richest treatment of these phenomena available. Magic, wonder, the poetic as well as the prosaic, are a feature of his work generally, which refuses reductiveness while maintaining rigor. An intellectual monument in France, his theory and commentary--passionate, ethically engaged and never leaving the life out of life--is at last beginning to have the impact it deserves in the English-speaking world.
Lorraine Mortimer, Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology, La Trobe University, Melbourne

Someone once said that the avoidance of complexity is the essence of tyranny. For this reason alone, Edgar Morin's book is worth reading. Even more, we need to embrace and to understand complexity.
Ian Mitroff
Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California
University Professor, Alliant International University
Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley

Morin's reflections on complexity can be profitably mined for nuggets of insights by complexity scientists and interdisciplinarians alike.
William H. Newell, Miami University
Executive Director, Association for Integrative Studies

What I like best in the work of Edgar Morin is the fundamental difference he makes between what is complex and what is just complicated. The real world is complex, meaning that antagonism and complementarity go hand in hand. Once I understood this, and other aspects of Morin's paradigm of complexity, my research took a new turn.
Peter Westbroek, Professor of Geophysiology, University of Leiden, The Netherlands
... Read more

18. Quantum Field Theory of Many-body Systems: From the Origin of Sound to an Origin of Light and Electrons (Oxford Graduate Texts)
by Xiao-Gang Wen
Paperback: 512 Pages (2007-10-18)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$35.43
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 019922725X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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For most of the last century, condensed matter physics has been dominated by band theory and Landau's symmetry breaking theory. In the last twenty years, however, there has been the emergence of a new paradigm associated with fractionalization, topological order, emergent gauge bosons and fermions, and string condensation. These new physical concepts are so fundamental that they may even influence our understanding of the origin of light and electrons in the universe. This book is a pedagogical and systematic introduction to the new concepts and quantum field theoretical methods in condensed matter physics. It discusses many basic notions in theoretical physics, which underlie physical phenomena in nature, including a notion that unifies light and electrons. Topics covered are dissipative quantum systems, boson condensation, symmetry breaking and gapless excitations, phase transitions, Fermi liquids, spin density wave states, Fermi and fractional statistics, quantum Hall effects, topological/quantum order, spin liquid and string condensation. Methods discussed include the path integral, Green's functions, mean-field theory, effective theory, renormalization group, bosonization in one- and higher dimensions, non-linear sigma-model, quantum gauge theory, dualities, slave-boson theory, and exactly soluble models beyond one-dimension. This book is aimed at bringing students to the frontiers of research in condensed matter physics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good textbook - but may not be for beginners
The other two reviewers have both noted that the book may not be a good starting point for a beginner, and I entirely agree.

Think Weinberg's three-volume QFT, or Feynman's Lectures on Physics.These books are good, full of insights, and will teach you a lot more if you already have some basic understanding of the respective subjects.However, you will suffer if these books are used as introductory texts.

That said, I find Wen's book generally a good read, and it nicely explains several concepts that I didn't understand until now.Well, I am a field theorist in my 4th year of grad school-- not exactly a beginner. But still.

One such instance is the section on Berry phase of a spin.Granted, Wen pretty much just throw at you the concept of a coherent state, but that part I learned just all right from other places.What's important is, Wen's book explains the next step "coherent state --> Berry phase" clearly.It's the only comprehensible derivation I've seen so far.(See, for example, Fradkin's Field Theories for Condensed Matters for an **unintelligible** derivation.)

I do sometimes find Wen's narrative style annoying.But hey, it's a theoretical physics textbook, and as long as he makes sound arguments (he does), how he delivers the arguments isn't that important.

3-0 out of 5 stars Utility depends on need
This book reflects the research interests of the author, who is a genius, and should not be considered introductory, even at the graduate level.I do not find this book useful for learning anything for the first time.However, it provides an interesting perspective on many classic topics in many-body theory.Unlike the previous reviewer, I found the grandious statements a wonderful feature since most textbooks lack any of the author's voice.Reading this book is closer to attending a lecture than any text of it's kind I've read.I get this book from the library and I wouldn't pay $100 for it especially since the author posts his lectures notes on his website and much of the later material can be obtained from PROLA.

2-0 out of 5 stars mixed
This book is really awkward. There is some standard many body theory but no beginning student will be able to learn it from this book alone. Second of all there are some very awkward statements like "fermions ..behave like non-local excitations because fermions cannot be created alone." (p146)While his line of reasoning for a particular model is decently clear, the statement about the nonexistance of a lone fermion is ridiculous. He makes occaisional grandiose statements like " [his pet theory] provides and answer to the origin of light and fermions" (p9). I find the calculations sketchy at best --you can learn deep things but at great expense. overall i find this book to mix ridiculousness and obtuse reading with insight. I think it's a poor book because pedagogy should be paramount in a textbook. ... Read more

19. Understanding Family Process: Basics of Family Systems Theory
by Carlfred B. Broderick
Paperback: 282 Pages (1993-03-09)
list price: US$73.95 -- used & new: US$39.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0803937784
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Systems theory is the basic theoretical model underlying most contemporary family therapy. In this accessible introduction, the author traces how systems theory gave rise to family systems theory, outlines the basic propositions of family systems and links it both to other family theory literature and to clinical practice.

Among the topics covered are relational space, family boundaries, family stratification and child socialization. Family meanings and such shared realities as family folklore, stories, myths and memorabilia are discussed. Family rituals are also explored.

... Read more

20. Applied Control Theory for Embedded Systems (Embedded Technology)
by Tim Wescott
Paperback: 320 Pages (2006-04-17)
list price: US$72.95 -- used & new: US$55.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0750678399
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Many embedded engineers and programmers who need to implement basic process or motion control as part of a product design do not have formal training or experience in control system theory. Although some projects require advanced and very sophisticated control systems expertise, the majority of embedded control problems can be solved without resorting to heavy math and complicated control theory. However, existing texts on the subject are highly mathematical and theoretical and do not offer practical examples for embedded designers. This book is different;it presents mathematical background with sufficient rigor for an engineering text, but it concentrates on providing practical application examples that can be used to design working systems, without needing to fully understand the math and high-level theory operating behind the scenes. The author, an engineer with many years of experience in the application of control system theory to embedded designs, offers a concise presentation of the basics of control theory as it pertains to an embedded environment.

* Practical, down-to-earth guide teaches engineers to apply practical control theorems without needing to employ rigorous math
* Covers the latest concepts in control systems with embedded digital controllers
* The accompanying CD-ROM contains source code and real-world application examples to help users create fully working systems ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars waste of time and money
I just finished reading this book and sadly I wasn't happy at all. The author tries to explain Control Theory techniques using the Z transform, but lacks good explanations on how he obtained the models and doesn't really get to any point with it.The topic I was more interested was in how to make an optimal controllers (software) in an embedded system, but it was only discussed in the last chapter and no depth or actually good advice in how to implement the software of all the things he explained in the rest of the chapters. Only discusses some filters, and the PID structure and in a very shallow way. I don't recommend this book. ... Read more

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