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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: William R. Law, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This book in the series Methods in Physiology deals with the complex field of fractals, or the mathematics of "chaos," as it applies to physiological systems.
Purpose: Its purpose is twofold. In the first part, properties of fractals and chaos are described and illustrated, providing a common ground knowledge base for its audience. In the second part, physiological applications are presented, along with new knowledge that has come from such applications.
Audience: The authors suggest, and I agree, that this book is written for research professionals and students who have had at least some calculus. Although targeted toward medical biologists, I believe the book would be of equal value to those in the fields of mathematics and bioengineering who are searching for physiological applications in their disciplines.
Features: The graphics used are clear and highlight particular concepts very well. Equations are presented in an easily read format, and the chapters are divided into logical sections that help organize ideas for the reader. The references are current. The book has a clean, professional appearance.
Assessment: This is an excellent book in its clear writing, thorough coverage of the topic, and timeliness. This emerging field of study is proving to be of immense importance, yet it is still a mystery to most medical biologists. This book represents a fine first step in clarifying a complex idea for professionals who will need it in the future. It belongs in the hands of every medical biologist and should be a part of every academic medical library.