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From Insects to Jumbo Jets

From the smallest gnat to the largest aircraft, all things that fly obey the same aerodynamic principles. In The Simple Science of Flight, Henk Tennekes investigates just how machines and creatures fly: what size wings they need, how much energy is required for their journeys, how they cross deserts and oceans, how they take off, climb, and soar. Fascinated by the similarities between nature and technology, Tennekes offers an introduction to flight that teaches by association. Swans and Boeings differ in numerous ways, but they follow the same aerodynamic principles.

Issues of regulation and control are central to the study of biological and biochemical systems. Thus it is not surprising that the tools of feedback control theory--engineering techniques developed to design and analyze self-regulating systems--have proven useful in the study of these biological mechanisms. Such interdisciplinary work requires knowledge of the results, tools and techniques of another discipline, as well as an understanding of the culture of an unfamiliar research community.

This text is a guide to the foundations of method engineering, a developing field concerned with the definition of techniques for designing software systems. The approach is based on metamodeling, the construction of a model about a collection of other models. The book applies the metamodeling approach in five case studies, each describing a solution to a problem in a specific domain. Suitable for classroom use, the book is also useful as a reference for practitioners.

This text is the first comprehensive presentation of reduction semantics in one volume; it also introduces the first reliable and easy-to-use tool set for such forms of semantics. Software engineers have long known that automatic tool support is critical for rapid prototyping and modeling, and this book is addressed to the working semantics engineer (graduate student or professional language designer). The book comes with a prototyping tool suite to develop, explore, test, debug, and publish semantic models of programming languages.

This companion to Passive Cooling and Solar Building Architecture (volumes 8 and 9) describes developments in passive solar technology that will save time, energy, and resources in planning for the buildings of the future. It is filled with tips and useful research for architects and designers and includes three substantial chapters on general modeling.


This text offers an introduction to quantum computing, with a special emphasis on basic quantum physics, experiment, and quantum devices. Unlike many other texts, which tend to emphasize algorithms, Quantum Computing without Magic explains the requisite quantum physics in some depth, and then explains the devices themselves.

Control and communications engineers, physicists, and probability theorists, among others, will find this book unique. It contains a detailed development of approximation and limit theorems and methods for random processes and applies them to numerous problems of practical importance. In particular, it develops usable and broad conditions and techniques for showing that a sequence of processes converges to a Markov diffusion or jump process.

Human and Machine in Spaceflight

As Apollo 11’s Lunar Module descended toward the moon under automatic control, a program alarm in the guidance computer’s software nearly caused a mission abort. Neil Armstrong responded by switching off the automatic mode and taking direct control. He stopped monitoring the computer and began flying the spacecraft, relying on skill to land it and earning praise for a triumph of human over machine. In Digital Apollo, engineer-historian David Mindell takes this famous moment as a starting point for an exploration of the relationship between humans and computers in the Apollo program.

"Shaping Things is about created objects and the environment, which is to say, it's about everything," writes Bruce Sterling in this addition to the Mediawork Pamphlet series. He adds, "Seen from sufficient distance, this is a small topic."Sterling offers a brilliant, often hilarious history of shaped things.

Building a Modern Computer from First Principles

In the early days of computer science, the interactions of hardware, software, compilers, and operating system were simple enough to allow students to see an overall picture of how computers worked. With the increasing complexity of computer technology and the resulting specialization of knowledge, such clarity is often lost.

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