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note: if self-advertising offends you, please don't read the rest of this message, which announces the forthcoming publication of a new book, along with the comments on the manuscript by one of its reviewers who suggested that it would be a good idea to post an announcement of the book up on the net to people. "Modeling Nature with Cellular Automata using Mathematica" by Richard J. Gaylord and Kazume Nishidate publisher: TELOS/Springer-Verlag to be published in Spring 1996 Table of Contents The what, why and how of this book 1 - A toolkit for cellular automata programming in Mathematica 2 - The Game of Life 3 - Traffic engineering: routing and traffic flow 4 - Phase ordering: spinoidal decomposition and microphase separation 5 - Solidification 6 - Snowflakes 7 - Interacting random walkers 8 - Interfacial diffusion fronts and gradient percolation 9 - Two-species driven diffusion 10 - Coalescence 11 - Adsorption-desorption 12 - Chemotaxis 13 - Ant colony activity 14 - Predator-prey ecosystems 15 - Contagion in exciteable media 16 - Evolution of cooperation: the spatial prisoner's dilemma Appendix: Programming with Mathematica tutorial manipulating lists everthing is an expression atomic, non-atomic, compound expressions how expressions are evaluated the order of evaluation controlling the order of evaluation pattern-matching blanks conditional pattern- matching rewrite rules and transformation rules the Set (=) function the SetDelayed (:=) function placing constraints on rewrite rules localizing names ordering rewrite rules the Rule (->) function the RuleDelayed (:>) function the functional programming style nested function calls anonymous functions using higher-order functions ==================== un-cut statements taken from a review of the manuscript [note: i do not personally know the reviewer. he was sent the manuscript by the publisher who was seeking objective opinions on the merits of the work prior to proceeding with its publication"] "As a researcher involved in some of the areas touched upon in this volume, I found myself wanting the software immediately, in order to start investigating a number of questions that have been bugging me for awhile" "My mind immediately conjured up things I wanted to do" "While I'm a very busy man, I cannot wait to first play around with these programs, and then to seriously modify them to conduct my own research" "This is not a text book, nor it is a monograph. It is a clever-tool book, or clever tool-book" "I am absolutely overwhelmed by the power of the tools presented here" "I understand the amount of work that usually goes into writing software that does what it is supposed to do, and as a consequence I am shocked, sometimes embarrassed, to see how little one has to do once one has mastered Mathematica" "What is important is how many things can be done, with so little investment of time" "I have very little doubt that the tools introduced here will seep into the research community" "I am somewhat surprised (jaded by the amount of secrecy that is prevalent in many areas of research) how freely the authors give away tools that even undergraduates can use to obtain publishable answers to modern questions rather rapidly" "Those who will benefit most from it will be be people actively involved in research concerned with complex phenomena, whether in academia or industry" "There should be a considerable market for people that used to be in Science, or have a Science bachelors degree, that like to play with these things in their free time, unrelated to their daily work" -- "if you're not programming functionally, then you're programming dysfunctionally"