Dr. Bruce J. West publishes book discussing the role of fractional calculus methodology

December 09, 2015

By Tracie R. Dean, ARL Public Affairs

Story Highlights

  • In his foreword to the book, Professor Chris Arney (BG ret.), chair of the Mathematics Department and Network Science, United States Military Academy, wrote, "It is no accident that this move towards integration of science coincides with globalization and the proliferation of information networks. Integration has become sciences' answer to the frustrations of science in the fragmented industrial-age where each discipline was hamstrung as a self-contained entity."
  • "One of the primary motivations for writing Fractional Calculus View of Complexity: Tomorrow's Science was the fact that Network-Centric Warfare converts information advantage into competitive advantage by creating processes and procedures through networking that otherwise could not exist and potentially leads to increased mission effectiveness," West said.
  • West asserts that an implication of this shift can be seen in the way in which our military personnel are viewed in an operational environment "not as independent individuals but more as part of a continuously adapting complex ecosystem."

Dr. Bruce J. West, senior scientist of mathematics and information science at the U.S. Army Research Office and U.S. Army Research Laboratory Fellow, recently released his latest publication titled Fractional Calculus View of Complexity: Tomorrow's Science. His book discusses the integration of science disciplines as a result of the dynamic societal changes in today's fast-evolving information age.

Professor Chris Arney (BG ret.), chair of the Mathematics Department and Network Science at the United States Military Academy, wrote in the book's foreword and said, "It is no accident that this move towards integration of science coincides with globalization and the proliferation of information networks. Integration has become sciences' answer to the frustrations of science in the fragmented industrial-age where each discipline was hamstrung as a self-contained entity".

"West's book embraces the complexity, connectedness, and fractional calculus mathematics to assemble future aim points and pathways for science to follow and scientists to contemplate. He has an exceptional way of weaving science history, theory, application, philosophy, and management into one cohesive story."

When describing the impact that fractional calculus methodology could have on the Army as well as science and technology research, West discussed the fact that "the DOD reevaluated the historical notions of war and created a new theory: Network-Centric Warfare. This new theory has at its core a shift in focus from platforms such as trucks, tanks, and planes to a networked Army of sensor webs, computer networks and intelligence gathering social web-works."

West said that one of the primary motivations for writing Fractional Calculus View of Complexity: Tomorrow's Science was the fact that Network-Centric Warfare converts information advantage into competitive advantage by creating processes and procedures through networking that otherwise could not exist and potentially leads to increased mission effectiveness.

West asserts that an implication of this shift can be seen in the way our military personnel are viewed in an operational environment and not as independent individuals, but more as part of a continuously adapting complex ecosystem.

"The military is invariably a reflection of the society of which it is a part, so this adaptation to networking is a consequence of basic changes to the increasing complexity of western society over the past two centuries," said West.

Recently authored publications by West include Networks of Echoes: Imitation, Innovation and Invisible Leaders (Springer, 2014) and Complex Webs: Anticipating the Improbable (Cambridge, 2011). West joined ARL in 1999 and conducts essential research into applied mathematics as an enabler of the physical, social and life sciences with the intent of overcoming technical barriers of particular importance to the Army.


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Last Update / Reviewed: December 9, 2015