Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Urban Air Pollution and Avenue Trees: Benefits, Interactions and Future Prospects

“The book Urban Air Pollution and Avenue Trees: Benefits, Interactions and Future Prospects has 11 chapters to cover the rationale of the concept and various domains to document how Avenue trees regulate urban air quality as well as how urban air quality affects urban avenue trees. In the current scenario where the rate of expansion of Urbanization is very high and its inevitable disadvantages is environmental pollution. The biggest problem in urban areas is air pollution. Air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen, and various oxides of nitrogen and sulfur, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are now entering the human body with each breath. The human lungs are now a storehouse of harmful airborne particles such as PM10, PM2.5, and PM1. Different age groups of the urban population from children to the elderly are now suffering from related health issues like asthma, shortness of breath, pneumonia, bronchitis, and even cancer. Good air quality is very much needed to achieve sustainable development goals or achieve the conversion of urban areas into smart cities. It is one of the key areas of the research for the current scientific community as well as for the policymakers. The contribution of both the authors in the book is very important and will be useful for various stakeholders. The book content highlighted the importance of plants (avenue plants) on both sides of the city’s main thoroughfares to prevent deterioration as well as improvement of air quality. The book discusses in detail the plan of a smart city and documented that how development, quality of life, and urban civilization can be integrated through the application of IoT technology. This book will pave the way for a significant future in implementing the concept of air pollution prevention and sustainable development in highly polluted metropolitan areas worldwide.” – Dr. Usha Mina, Associate Professor, School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Open Higher Education in the 21st Century

“It has been decades since the first open university was started back in 1946 in Africa. In the intervening decades, perhaps this sector has already gone through the peak of inflated expectations, the trough of disillusionment, the slope of enlightenment, and arrived at the plateau of productivity (in terms of the hype cycle). As several of the contributors to this collection have noted, COVID-19 drove many more to open higher education, so as not to lose the time under lockdown. With a burgeoning world population, the needs for higher education are greater than ever, and this broadens the ambit of such universities. In the U.S., there are some endeavors for open educational resources (OERs), in which online learning objects are shared without cost. There are some stand-alone courses and some course series on MOOC platforms. A perusal of the List of Open Universities identifies only one public open university in the U.S. (Open SUNY), and two private ones. Perhaps many of the needs in the U.S. are met with excellent community colleges and various institutes. Or perhaps Americans reach out for opportunities as provided by other open institutions of higher education… Read more >>>” – Shalin Hai-Jew, Instructional Designer/Researcher, Kansas State University. Published in C2C Digital Magazine (Fall 2021 / Winter 2022).

Anomaly Detection: Techniques and Applications

“A lot of learning happens by observing what happens normally. In many cases, identifying what happens in unusual contexts may also provide insight. In the computational space, “anomaly detection” in various available data is used in various practical applications, with real implications on people’s daily lives. Anomalies refer to data deviations from a normal state of observed behaviors, beyond particular parameters. Anomalies are those data points at the far ends of the min-max range, the ends of the normal curve, the isolate datapoints in scatterplots, the unclustered datapoints in a 2D or 3D data representation. With multidimensional data, these are the datapoints that do not cluster. Saira Banu Atham, Shriram Raghunathan, Dinesh Mavaluru, and A. Syed Mustafa are co-editors of Anomaly Detection: Techniques and Applications, which highlights some of the techniques and technologies to achieve anomaly detection in various systems… Read more >>>” – Shalin Hai-Jew, Instructional Designer/Researcher, Kansas State University. Published in C2C Digital Magazine (Fall 2021 / Winter 2022).

A Closer Look at Big Data Analytics

“R. Anandan, in A Closer Look at Big Data Analytics, offers some perspectives on how big data may be analyzed and perhaps kept safe. It does not read like a manual, but more of a tourist guidebook into the topic. The work mostly argues for the power of big data analytics to inform on behaviors in the world…. Read more at >>>” – Shalin Hai-Jew, Instructional Designer/Researcher, Kansas State University. Published in C2C Digital Magazine (Fall 2021 / Winter 2022).

Understanding Emotional Intelligence

“John T. Lanthem’s Understanding Emotional Intelligence (2021) can be read as a way to benefit self-development and other-development, in various educational and work contexts. For adults, they are beset by various marshmallow temptations of their own. Perhaps there are smarter decision making paths than reaching for the temptation…. Read more >>>– Shalin Hai-Jew, Instructional Designer/Researcher, Kansas State University. Published in C2C Digital Magazine (Fall 2021 / Winter 2022).

Social Media in the 21st Century: Perspectives, Influences and Effects on Well-Being

“Walter J. Kahn’s Social Media in the 21st Century: Perspectives, Influences and Effects on Well-Being (2021) is a volume of four research works. This book enables readers to think outside of their direct experiences with social media and engage more critically. These works help readers understand the various levers for human manipulation within and across the platforms. They should be able to better see when manipulations are afoot and perhaps how to make clearer-headed decisions about what to share, what not to share, and perhaps who they are engaging with online. Perhaps contemporary users may avoid manipulation by marketers, ‘bots, and people with malicious intent. Another angle is that they will also see the social media platforms as data hubs, worthy of research and study, with valuable insights to extract. In this space, it is helpful to think of what may be to come in terms of technological advancements and perhaps what humanity might accept or reject…Read more at >>>– Shalin Hai-Jew, Instructional Designer/Researcher, Kansas State University. Published in C2C Digital Magazine (Fall 2021 / Winter 2022).

The Quantum Biosemiosphere

“Tobias and Morrison’s rewarding book demands scintillating focus and presents a serious, if shattering treatise, a transformative ecological paradigm based in a new theoretical metaphysics which surrounds us, is speaking to us, lives within us and seeks to guide us towards a transcendent future care-taking this precious earth.” To read the full review, click here >> – Michael S. Bostick, Environmental Professional, Artist, Freelance Writer

The Quantum Biosemiosphere reflects the pure inner strength and remarkable acumen of Dr Michael Charles Tobias and Mrs. Jane Gray Morrison as they take stock of the vast natural forces and energy of ecological communities across the planet. They then subsequently engage in philosophical discourse, abetted by remarkable empirical data to support a planetary ethic. This work could not have emerged at a more critical time: the Anthropocene. By applying advanced environmental research in utterly fascinating and new scientific arenas of hypothesis and synthesis, this book invokes, conveys, and thoroughly symbolizes the ecological integrity of a wildlife civilization, never quite explored like this in the history of science. Tobias and Morrison summon forth various computational analyses of a myriad of inter-species languages and the cultural behavior of plants and animals. Likewise, the work is richly nourished with extraordinary scientific findings. The Authors, in this – one of their most provocative books – conscientiously counsel to save the planet from its permanent collapse. For every (human) member of the global community who wants to save this planet, the only world we know and call home, from the devastating irruptions of human interference, this book is a must read.” – Ugyen Tshewang, PhD, former Secretary of Environment in Bhutan, Thimphu, Bhutan

“The fast evolving world of ethology – interspecies research, communication, scientific breakthroughs regarding the extraordinary sentience, feelings, and minds of other species – has rarely, if ever, been examined through the lenses of physics, mathematics, and psychological GIS (Geographic Information Systems). In this book, layer upon layer, tier after tier, every leaf, stoma, axon, brain cell, and genotypic expression is explored in a riveting new approach to the biosphere that at once translates it into a biosemiosphere–an earth teeming with meaningful communication amongst trillions of individuals. The Quantum Biosemiosphere makes profoundly clear that human consciousness, and conscience has the responsibility as never before to safeguard a vastly philosophical biosphere; an artistic and intellectual earth pouring out its feelings, needs, recognitions, co-symbioses, and biological pacts in readable formats. Tobias and Morrison illuminate in unambiguous terms how we might yet avoid an unprecedented calamity in the face of the genius of all other species, who just happen to work together.” – Marc Bekoff, University of Colorado, author of Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence and A Dog’s World: Imagining the Lives of Dogs in a World Without Humans

“Michael Charles Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison have laid the groundwork for an entirely new theoretical and philosophical understanding of 21st century ecological dynamics. Their theories and entire narrative – as enshrined in The Quantum Biosemiosphere, are as revolutionary in their own eloquent, intricate way, as the early 20th century initiatives in math and physics that came to form the basis for our understanding of fundamental quantum mechanics and relativity.” – Alexander N. Chumakov Ph.D., Professor, Lomonosov Moscow State University Editor-in-Chief of “Age of Globalization” Journal Moscow, Russia

A special commentary, published by Transition-Earth, was written by Geoffrey Holland, an award-winning Writer/Producer of long and short form video. He is also currently Coordinator of Dialogues for the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere. To read the commentary, click here >>.

Neutrino Mass: Past, Present, Future

This book provides a brief overview of approximately 40 years of experimental search for a non-zero mass of neutrinos. It presents the results of experimental studies on beta-decay, double beta-decay, neutrino oscillations in vacuum and matter, the results of attempts to measure neutrino-free double beta-decay, and experiments planned for the future. While discussing the experimental problems, the necessary theoretical background is presented, with numerous references to the literature. It is worth noting that the authors refer to the achievements of outstanding physicists whose work contributed to the emergence of the discussed field. The photo gallery of these characters brings them closer to the reader. This book is aimed primarily at physicists, but also has great educational value for PhD students.” –Doctor Wilhelm Czaplinski, University of Science and Technology, Cracow, Poland

“Imagine you have a friend whom you have known for decades and whose friendship you highly appreciate, but who adamantly refuses to reveal his name. In physics, the neutrino appears to look much like that elusive friend. Though the physicists learned of neutrino’s existence almost a century ago and despite the fact that the neutrino is one of fundamental components of the matter around us, the neutrino mass spectrum is still unknown. This puzzle is the main theme of the book. The authors present a thorough discussion of reasons why the puzzle exists and of efforts to resolve it. A seasoned researcher and a curious layman will each benefit from the material of this interesting book.” – Professor Vitaly Efimov, University of Washington, Seattle, USA

“I’ve never been a big fan of neutrinos because of typically low statistics of experiments studying their properties and difficulties with reconstruction of the processes with neutrinos in the final state. The first feature is no longer true today and the second inspired physicists to invent various beautiful methods of analysis. This book discusses one more fascinating property of neutrinos – their masses. Nonzero masses of neutrinos obviously violate the Standard model but at the same time do not contradict its most stringent tests. The book clearly describes various consequences of this mystery and experiments to understand it.” – Professor Simon Eidelman, Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics, Novosibirsk, Russia

“Mysterious behavior neutrino keeps providing us hints to reveal the secret of nature. The book gives excellent description of neutrino physics from the very appearance of neutrino towards the recent topics of expanding fields.” – Professor Toru Sato, RCNP, Osaka University

Combinatorics: First Steps

This book is a very good introduction to combinatorics as a first step to know about the subject which is a basic for such areas as theory probability and statistics, among others. For example, Basic Concepts of Set Theory (Chapter 2) and Inclusion-Exclusion Principle (Chapter 5) are good examples of analogue between operations with sets and events in probability. Also, Trees (Chapter 7) have applications in financial mathematics, as we recall, binomial trees, as one of many examples. The book contains a great deal of problems (e.g., 160 (!), and it’s only in Chapter 1) with answers, examples and exercises. I would recommend it to university instructors who teach combinatorics, to pedagogical universities and colleges students, and also to high school students and first year university students. Moreover, as a background, mathematical courses from regular school will suffice to read and study the book. It is a really the first step in combinatorics to proceed to many more steps further in students’ journey through the beauty of combinatorics. Finally, I am proud to say, that one of the authors, namely, Volodymyr Vyshenskyi, was one of my best instructors in algebra at Kyiv State University back to 70th , when I was there as a freshman student. His pedagogical and teaching skills were a legend among young university’s students. All in all, do not be afraid to make the first step in anything, including combinatorics: it will pay-off when you make more steps and affords later.” – Anatoliy Swishchuk, Professor, Applied Mathematics, Universiry of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The book “Combinatorics: First Steps” written by two very experienced mathematicians, Mykola Perestyuk and Volodymyr Vyshenskyi, is a gem, which will satisfy the needs of all kinds of combinatorics lovers, from high school students to college professors. It has plenty of examples and solved problems that make the digesting of the material easy, though the phrase “First steps” in the title should not discourage know-it-alls from acquiring the book. It can also serve as a wonderful source of all kinds of combinatorial problems for extracurricular activities in mathematics.” – Vyacheslav Futorny, Professor, Departamento de Matematica, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Global Challenges of Digital Transformation of Markets

This book has a strong pattern of content. The mathematical aspect is prominent, adding quality to the general features of the book. The panel of authors is outstanding.” – Alberto Celani, ABC Department, Politecnico de Milano, Milano, Italy