Short works

Books : reviews

John L. Rhodes.
Applications of Automata Theory and Algebra: via the mathematical theory of complexity to biology, physics, psychology, philosophy, and games.
World Scientific. 2010

This book, originally written in 1969 by Berkeley mathematician John Rhodes, is known as the Wild Book, and quickly became an underground classic in manuscript form, studied by many leading researchers in mathematics, complex systems, artificial intelligence, and systems biology. Yet it has never been available in print until now. Nevertheless, it is the founding work of algebraic engineering, an emerging field that uses the unifying scheme of finite state machine models and their complexity to tie together finite group theory, semigroup theory, automata and sequential machine theory, finite phase space physics, metabolic and evolutionary biology, epistemology, mathematical theory of psychoanalysis, philosophy, and game theory.

This first published edition has been edited by Chrystopher Nehaniv for the 21st century, and sets the stage for the application of algebraic automata theory to areas outside mathematics. Its novel and rigorous development of the mathematical theory of complexity via algebraic automata theory reveals deep and unexpected connections between algebra (semigroups) and areas of science and engineering.

The material and references have been brought up to date by the editor as much as possible, yet the book retains its distinct character and the bold yet rigorous style of the author. The approach and contents will be of interest to a variety of researchers and students in algebra as well as to the diverse, growing areas of applications of algebra in science and engineering.