Physics and computer science genius Stephen Wolfram, sets his sights on a daunting goal: understanding the universe. A New Kind of Science
is a gorgeous, 1,280-page tome more than a decade in the making. With patience, insight, and self-confidence to spare, Wolfram outlines a fundamental new way of modelling complex systems.
On the frontier of complexity science since he was a boy, Wolfram is a champion of cellular automata--256 "programs" governed by simple non-mathematical rules. He points out that even the most complex equations fail to accurately model biological systems, but the simplest cellular automata can produce results straight out of nature--tree branches, stream eddies, and leopard spots, for instance. The graphics in A New Kind of Science show striking resemblance to the patterns we see in nature every day.
Wolfram wrote the book in a distinct style meant to make it easy to read, even for non-techies; a basic familiarity with logic is helpful but not essential. Readers will find themselves swept away by the elegant simplicity of Wolfram's ideas and the accidental artistry of the cellular automaton models. Whether or not Wolfram's revolution ultimately gives us the keys to the universe, his new science is absolutely awe-inspiring. --Therese Littleton
About the Author
Stephen Wolfram was born in London and educated at Eton, Oxford and Caltech. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics in 1979 at the age of 20, and in the early 1980s made a series of discoveries which launched the field of complex systems research. Starting in 1986 he created Mathematica, the primary software system now used for technical computing worldwide, and the tool which made A New Kind of Science possible. Wolfram is the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research, Inc.the world's leading technical software company.