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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

The Dynamics of Chaos

Instructor(s): Rachel Roe-Dale, Mathematics

Will the beat of a butterfly's wings today determine your future?  This question exemplifies the sensitive dependence on initial conditions that is one of the hallmarks of chaos theory.  In this course, we will examine this sensitive dependence on initial state, among other concepts, as we investigate dynamical systems and chaos theory in an interdisciplinary setting.  The mathematics of chaos theory will be presented so that we can go beyond the level of understanding of chaos needed for popular culture references.  In addition to the mathematics, we will discuss applications of chaos theory in meteorology, medicine, culinary arts, biology, and other disciplines as we explore topics such as linear and nonlinear systems, bifurcations, strange attractors, and fractals.

Course Offered