Blog on Math Blogs

Mathematical Digest


Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"All Together Now: Clap": Review of Sync by Steven Strogatz and SixDegrees by Duncan J. Watts. Reviewed by Larry Marshall. Discover, April 2003.

Marshall reviews two books---Sync: The Emerging Science of SpontaneousOrder, by applied mathematics professor Steven Strogatz (CornellUniversity) and Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age, bysociologist-mathematician Duncan J. Watts (Columbia University). Strogatzstudies synchrony ("a phenomenon long familiar to physicists under the name ofresonance") and Watts studies networks using mathematical models. "BothStrogatz and Watts believe that the calculus of connectivity, along with anunderstanding of how the elements of a network react to stimuli, is the nextbig idea in natural and social science."

More reviews of Sync:
"Order from Chaos," by Gualitero Piccinni, Popular Science, April 2003;
"Move to the Rhythm," by J.J. Collins, Nature, 13 March 2003;
"In Sync," by Mary Carmichael, MSNBC/NewsweekTechnology & Science, 17 March 2003;
"Light in the darkness," by Robert Matthews, New Scientist, 8 February 2003(click herefor a Math Digest of this review);
"A Tree of Fireflies, a Flock of Boson Clouds," by NancyKopell, Science, 20 June 2003.

--- Annette Emerson