Entropy 2018: From Physics to Information Sciences and Geometry

One of the most frequently used scientific words, is the word “Entropy”. The reason is that it is related to two main scientific domains: physics and information theory. Its origin goes back to the start of physics (thermodynamics), but since Shannon, it has become related to information theory. This conference is an opportunity to bring researchers of these two communities together and create a synergy. The main topics and sessions of the conference cover:

  • Physics: classical Thermodynamics and Quantum
  • Statistical physics and Bayesian computation
  • Geometrical science of information, topology and metrics
  • Maximum entropy principle and inference
  • Kullback and Bayes or information theory and Bayesian inference
  • Entropy in action (applications)

The inter-disciplinary nature of contributions from both theoretical and applied perspectives are very welcome, including papers addressing conceptual and methodological developments, as well as new applications of entropy and information theory.


Entropy 2018: From Physics to Information Sciences and Geometry

  14-16 May 2018
Auditorium Enric Casassas, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Source: sciforum.net

The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World – and Us

A major reimagining of how evolutionary forces work, revealing how mating preferences—what Darwin termed “the taste for the beautiful”—create the extraordinary range of ornament in the animal world.

In the great halls of science, dogma holds that Darwin’s theory of natural selection explains every branch on the tree of life: which species thrive, which wither away to extinction, and what features each evolves. But can adaptation by natural selection really account for everything we see in nature?
     Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum—reviving Darwin’s own views—thinks not. Deep in tropical jungles around the world are birds with a dizzying array of appearances and mating displays: Club-winged Manakins who sing with their wings, Great Argus Pheasants who dazzle prospective mates with a four-foot-wide cone of feathers covered in golden 3D spheres, Red-capped Manakins who moonwalk. In thirty years of fieldwork, Prum has seen numerous display traits that seem disconnected from, if not outright contrary to, selection for individual survival. To explain this, he dusts off Darwin’s long-neglected theory of sexual selection in which the act of choosing a mate for purely aesthetic reasons—for the mere pleasure of it—is an independent engine of evolutionary change.
    Mate choice can drive ornamental traits from the constraints of adaptive evolution, allowing them to grow ever more elaborate. It also sets the stakes for sexual conflict, in which the sexual autonomy of the female evolves in response to male sexual control. Most crucially, this framework provides important insights into the evolution of human sexuality, particularly the ways in which female preferences have changed male bodies, and even maleness itself, through evolutionary time.
     The Evolution of Beauty presents a unique scientific vision for how nature’s splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and of ourselves.

Source: www.amazon.com

The Great Unknown: Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science: Marcus du Sautoy

A captivating journey to the outer reaches of human knowledge

Ever since the dawn of civilization we have been driven by a desire to know–to understand the physical world and the laws of nature. But are there limits to human knowledge? Are some things beyond the predictive powers of science, or are those challenges simply the next big discovery waiting to happen?
Marcus du Sautoy takes us into the minds of science’s greatest innovators and reminds us that major breakthroughs were often ridiculed at the time of their discovery. Then he carries us on a whirlwind tour of seven “Edges” of knowledge – inviting us to consider the problems in quantum physics, cosmology, probability and neuroscience that continue to bedevil scientists who are at the front of their fields. He grounds his personal exploration of some of science’s thorniest questions in simple concepts like the roll of dice, the notes of a cello, or how a clock measures time. 

Exhilarating, mind-bending, and compulsively readable, The Great Unknown challenges us to think in new ways about every aspect of the known world as it invites us to consider big questions that no one has yet managed to answer definitively.

Source: www.amazon.com

Finding Fibonacci: The Quest to Rediscover the Forgotten Mathematical Genius Who Changed the World

A compelling firsthand account of Keith Devlin’s ten-year quest to tell Fibonacci’s story

In 2000, Keith Devlin set out to research the life and legacy of the medieval mathematician Leonardo of Pisa, popularly known as Fibonacci, whose book Liber abbaci has quite literally affected the lives of everyone alive today. Although he is most famous for the Fibonacci numbers–which, it so happens, he didn’t invent–Fibonacci’s greatest contribution was as an expositor of mathematical ideas at a level ordinary people could understand. In 1202, Liber abbaci–the “Book of Calculation”–introduced modern arithmetic to the Western world. Yet Fibonacci was long forgotten after his death, and it was not until the 1960s that his true achievements were finally recognized.

Finding Fibonacci is Devlin’s compelling firsthand account of his ten-year quest to tell Fibonacci’s story. Devlin, a math expositor himself, kept a diary of the undertaking, which he draws on here to describe the project’s highs and lows, its false starts and disappointments, the tragedies and unexpected turns, some hilarious episodes, and the occasional lucky breaks. You will also meet the unique individuals Devlin encountered along the way, people who, each for their own reasons, became fascinated by Fibonacci, from the Yale professor who traced modern finance back to Fibonacci to the Italian historian who made the crucial archival discovery that brought together all the threads of Fibonacci’s astonishing story.

Fibonacci helped to revive the West as the cradle of science, technology, and commerce, yet he vanished from the pages of history. This is Devlin’s search to find him.

Source: www.amazon.com

Defined by Design: The Surprising Power of Hidden Gender, Age, and Body Bias in Everyday Products and Places

This wide-ranging overview of design in everyday life demonstrates how design shapes our lives in ways most of us would never imagine. The author, a leading expert in social and psychological issues in design, uncovers the gender, age, and body biases inherent in the designs of common products and living spaces that we all routinely use. From the schools our children attend and the buildings we work in to ill-fitting clothes and one-size-fits-all seating in public transportation, restaurants, and movie theaters, we are surrounded by an artificial environment that can affect our comfort, our self-image, and even our health.

Anthony points out the flaws and disadvantages of certain fashions, children’s toys, high-tech gadgets, packaging, public transportation, public restrooms, neighborhood layouts, classrooms, workplaces, hospitals, and more. In an increasingly diverse populace where many body types, age groups, and cultures interact, she argues that it’s time our environments caught up.

Source: www.amazon.com