Fall 2003

Course outline in PDF format (click here for free Adobe PDF Reader)

  • Final Exam: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2003 1230-330P Location: C320 CHEIT

  • Office Hours
  • Outline
  • Notes and Readings
  • Reference Sources
  • Homeworks
  • Study Questions

    Course No.: ENGIN 101 Units: 3 CC Number: 28056 TeleBears

    This course satisfies L&S Physical Science breadth and CEE Technical Electives

    Instructor: S.W. Hermanowicz, 607 Davis Hall, 642-015, e-mail:

    Format: 3 hours of lecture, demonstrations and student activities per week

    Time and Location: Tue. Thu. 2 - 3:30 212 O'Brien Hall

    Course site:

    Course Objectives: Exploration of diverse concepts in fractal geometry, nonlinear phenomena and their dynamics leading to chaos and complexity. We will try to look at a variety of natural objects and processes, and their mathematical counterparts to see if we can characterize such features as ruggedness, structure, contingency, "butterfly effect". The focus will be on the development of intuition and on applications rather than rigorous mathematical derivations. I hope that you will acquire a new Weltanschauung and start thinking about scaling laws, sensitivity to initial conditions, small changes and large effects.

    Grade Requirements: Participation in the class activities, home assignments, term paper, final exam

    Required Text: None

    Reference Readings:

    Addison, Paul S. (1997). Fractals and Chaos: An Illustrated Course, IOP

    Cambel., A.B. (1993). Applied Chaos Theory. Academic Press, San Diego

    Kaye, B. (1993). Chaos & Complexity. VCH, Weinheim

    Other Readings: A reference file in the Engineering library. Additional references listed here

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    Approximate Outline
    For more details see Notes and Readings

  • Introduction
  • Percolation - applications
  • Random Walk
  • Fractals - intro
  • Fractals in nature
  • Real and virtual fractals: Aggregation
  • Real and virtual fractals: Bacterial Growth
  • Dynamics - logistic equation
  • Dynamics - logistic equation Part II (Origin of Chaos?)
  • Dynamics - continuous systems
  • Lorentz equation - strange attractors: Routes to chaos
  • Chaos vs. Randomness
  • Other real-world appications and examples
  • Complexity - self organization
  • Wrap-up and Term Project presentations

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