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Discovering Discrete Dynamical Systems

Aimee Johnson, Kathleen Madden, and Ayșe Șahin


Discovering Discrete Dynamical Systems is a mathematics textbook designed for use in a student-led, inquiry-based course for advanced mathematics majors. Fourteen modules – each with an opening exploration, a short exposition and related exercises, and a concluding project – guide students to self-discovery on topics such as fixed points and their classifications, chaos and fractals, Julia and Mandelbrot sets in the complex plane, and symbolic dynamics. Topics have been carefully chosen as a means for developing student persistence and skill in exploration, conjecture, and generalization while at the same time providing a coherent introduction to the fundamentals of discrete dynamical systems.

This book is written for undergraduate students with the prerequisites for a first analysis course, and it can easily be used by any faculty member in a mathematics department, regardless of area of expertise.

Each module starts with an exploration in which the students are asked an open-ended question. This allows the students to make discoveries which lead them to formulate the questions that will be addressed in the exposition and exercises of the module. The exposition is brief and has been written with the intent that a student who has taken, or is ready to take, a course in analysis can read the material independently. The exposition concludes with exercises which have been designed to both illustrate and explore in more depth the ideas covered in the exposition. Each module concludes with a project in which students bring the ideas from the module to bear on a more challenging or in-depth problem.

A section entitled “To the Instructor” includes suggestions on how to structure a course in order to realize the inquiry-based intent of the book. The book has also been used successfully as the basis for an independent study course and as a supplementary text for an analysis course with traditional content.


* As a textbook, Discovering Discrete Dynamical Systems does have DRM. Our DRM protected PDFs can be downloaded to three computers. iOS tablets can open secure PDFs using the AWReader app (available in the App Store and the Play Store). The iOS app uses the native iPad PDF reader so it is a very basic reader, no frills. Linux is not supported at this time for our secure PDFs.

130 pages

Electronic ISBN: 9781614441243

Paperback ISBN: 9780883857939


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