Publisher: Birkhauser Verlag AG
Number of pages: 405
Weight: 1690 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 23 mm
Edition: 2002 ed.
"The present book is an exhaustive collection of the correspondence between Vito Volterra and numerous scientists on the topic of Mathematical Biology. At the end of the book seventeen pages of very useful references are given. The book is useful to those who are working in the field of Mathematical Biology as well as History of Mathematical Biology."
"We first meet Volterra on the front cover of the book under review. There he is: a magnificent, full-bearded and moustached figure in full academic regalia, shown perhaps in his mid-fifties. Vito Volterra, 1860-1940, professor at the University of Rome, president of the renowned Accademia dei Lincei, member of the Royal Society, recipient of other honors too numerous to mention, scion of an Italian Jewish family whose genealogy has been traced back to the early 1400s. A crater on the Moon has been named after him.... Reading the letters [in the book]...gives an idea of Volterra's extensive scientific contacts. More importantly, it gives an idea of the birth pangs of a relatively new and problematic application of mathematics. You will get whiffs of the struggles between the deterministic and the probabilistic approaches; between continuous and discrete models; among models in either category; between holistic (empirical and experimental) and mathematical approaches; between closed-form solutions and numerical solutions; between the qualitative and the quantitative. You will also read about the struggle between the realists and the idealists as regards what the goal of inquiry should be. Gasca's [54-page] introduction [to the book and history of the early (1920s and 30s) development of population dynamics] fleshes out these various antagonisms."