This afternoon I got a review copy of X and the City: Modeling Aspects of Urban Life (ISBN 0691154643) by John A. Adam. It’s a book about mathematical model, taking all its examples from urban life: public transportation, growth, pollution, etc. I’ve only skimmed through the book so far, but it looks like most of the applications involve differential equations. Some depend on algebra or probability.

The book looks interesting. I hope to say more about the book once I’ve had a chance to read it. The examples are all short, so it may be any easy book to read a little at a time.

I also got a review copy of The Book of Inkscape (ISBN 1593271816) today, and I’m expecting several other books soon. It may take a while to get through these since this is a busy time for me. When it rains, it pours.

The information in the Amazon overview is thin, so I could be completely wrong, but it seems as though this book leaves out the most important math – the social aspect. A city is a social organism. Focusing on the problems that are easy to solve is understandable, but dangerous. Following minds will focus on what the book offers, and tend to assume the easily solvable sub-problems are the most important aspect. That would be a bad assumption. The

firstpriority should be to take a crack at the social math, even with the high probability of error. The more trivial aspects should follow.I don’t believe the author intended to write a book on sociology. It’s a book on modeling, picking examples from an urban context that are easy enough to solve in a few pages. And from what little I’ve read so far, the author is quick to state when he is making gross simplifications.

This book looks like a fun read. Have you read the Guesstimation book?

No, I haven’t read that one.