Looking for a way to keep teenagers engaged in STEM? Chaos Theory Uncovered: How chaos and fractals shape our world by E L Strauss might be just the ticket. It reveals how math can be used to help us understand and make predictions about large, complex events in a beautiful way.
When you first open the book the computer-generated illustrations might just give you chills, particularly the swirling brightly-colored lines against a black background that are visual representations of chaos. The images of fractals are stunning as well, particularly the Mandelbrot set. Magic happens when art meets math.
(Public domain illustration of a fractal From PublicDomainPictures.net)
At the beginning of the text, Strauss helps the reader tiptoe into the topic by starting out with the history of how chaos theory came into being. In this case it started when a meteorologist noticed a problem when he ran simulations on a computer and delved into why the anomaly happened. He eventually proposed a model to explain it that would lead to the so-called "butterfly effect" and the foundations of chaos theory.
The concepts that follow build on each other each other in a logical progression that increases the reader's understanding while keeping him or her engaged. The clear organization makes the text easy to follow even though the vocabulary is challenging.
The best part about the book is it is not watered down for kids. To get the most out of it, the reader should probably have a working understanding of at least algebra, and an inkling of beginning calculus would be helpful.
Chaos Theory Uncovered: How Chaos and Fractals Shape Our World is sure to help young adults and adults to understand complex math. It might also help some to discover an astonishing new passion. Create your own butterfly effect by picking up a copy today.
Note: Our book today is in the same series as last week's young adult book about the universe.
Vi Hart is the queen of combining math and art, and in this case to study plant structures. Her Doodling in Math: Spirals, Fibonacci, and Being a Plant is a 3-part series, starting with the following video. Hope it inspires you to try some similar projects.
Paperback: 110 pages
Publisher: Thinxygen (November 6, 2015)
Interested in finding more math books for kids? Try our growing list at Science Books for Kids.
Disclosure: A .pdf was provided by the author for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.