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An Introduction to Dynamical Systems and Chaos

Marc Spiegelman, LDEO

September 22, 1997


This tutorial will develop the basic ingredients necessary for modeling and understanding simple (and not so simple) non-linear dynamical systems. The goal of these exercises are to demonstrate you that you can develop significant insight into the behavior of complicated non-linear systems with just a little math, a little art and a little modeling software. By themselves, these tools can lead to frustration. However, when combined in the right ways they can give you surprising powers of understanding. The purpose of this tutorial is to give you practice and guidance into the basic tricks of the trade so that when you are done you will be able to

This module contains three labs of increasing complexity that try to highlight the important concepts of non-linear systems while developing enough basic tools to be useful. However, these labs are only a brief introduction to a rich and extensive subject. For a beautiful but qualitative overview of the subject see Gleick [1]. Then read Strogatz [2] for an excellent introduction to the quantitative guts of the business.

Postscript or PDF versions of Tutorial are here

marc spiegelman
Mon Sep 22 21:30:22 EDT 1997