Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Advances in Linear Algebra Research

“This book presents some recent theoretical and computational results on Linear Algebra and Applications. The investigations developed in each one of its ten chapters have been written by one or more experts. They analyze subjects as quadratic forms, homogeneous matrix polynomials, linear control systems, Hermitian matrix-valued functions, triangular matrices, linear matrix equations, simultaneous triangularization over principal ideal domains and matrix differential equations, among others. Matrix Analysis Theory and Generalized Inverses are two extreme usefulness tools used to solve several of the proposed problems. In addition, settings such as the complex field or an arbitrary field, a ring or a quaternion algebra are the structures to work with. This interesting book is written in a very readable style and it is a very good contribution to the Linear Algebra Community and other interested readers.” – Nestor Thome, Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics of Polytechnical University of Valencia, Spain

“This is a worth-reading book about the recent developments in Linear Algebra and it includes contributions of fourteen authors from all over the world. The themes analyzed by the researchers in the ten chapters include quadratic optimization, matrix pencils, generalized inverses, matrix equations, maximal and minimal ranks and inertias, triangular matrices (tables) and their parafunctions, iterative methods, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, quasideterminants, regular rings and quaternions, among others. These developments have strong connections with other branches of mathematics like statistics, optimization, discrete mathematics and differential equations and they are related to important topics like fractals, graphs, power series, Markovian transitions and ODEs stability. Outside mathematics, potential applications to financial problems, electrical networks, filter design, chemical kinetics mechanisms and control theory, remark the importance of the topics considered. Finally, the inclusion of several open problems, numerical examples that clarify the theory and even a touch of humor in one of the footnotes, complete this interesting, enjoyable and easy readable book.” – Victor Martinez-Luaces, Profesor, Universidad de la República, Uruguay

“This book is a very interesting overview of recent topics of Linear Algebra and matrix Analysis. It includes topics such as Quadratic optimization, generalized inverses, Matrix Polynomials, Matrix functions, Iterative methods for solving matrix equations, simultaneous triangularization over a principal ideal domain, matrix differential equations and other very important topics. The book is quite easy to read and is written for postgraduate and/or PhD students, and researchers in the field of Linear Algebra. It includes theoretical investigations and many clarifying examples to support them, as well as numerical experiments presented. It can be used as a strong reference for scientific publications. Open problems on these topics are also presented and discussed.” – Dimitrios Pappas, Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece

“The book is devoted to advanced topics in Linear Algebra and its Application. It covers a broad range of topics. Some of them, for instance, paradeterminants and parapermanents, are not covered in the standard English books on the subject. Among the nice features of the book is the use of various tools of general algebra: fields, rings, quaternions, … The book is interesting and should be useful for experts and Ph.D. students in such areas of mathematics as PDE, control systems, graph theory, combinatorics, as well as in theoretical physics. It can also be of interest to engineers and researches working on the border between mathematics and chemistry, biology, or medicine.” – Professor Rostislav Grigorchuk, Mathematics Department of Texas A&M University

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Spectral Theory for Bounded Functions and Applications to Evolution Equations

“This monograph is devoted to the theory of spectra of bounded functions in abstractspaces. Spectral theory is very important as it gives important qualitative properties ofsolutions to evolution equations. It is particularly useful in the study of the asymptoticbehavior of mild solutions of evolution equations. The monograph is divided into fivechapters. Chapter 1 is about some basic defnitions and notations. Chapter 2 is devotedto the theory of almost periodic functions. These functions have important applicationsin celestial mechanics, control theory and other fields. In chapter 3, the author discussesthe concepts of almost automorphic functions and sequences, which are generalizationsof almost periodic functions and sequences. After these chapters, the author moves onto defining the spectrum of bounded functions, in chapter 4. The concepts of Carleman,Beurling, uniform and circular spectra are defined. The last chapter is devoted to thestudy of difference and first- and second-order differential equations.Overall, this monograph is useful for researchers working in the field of spectraltheory of bounded functions and the qualitative theory of differential equations inabstract spaces. The monograph is written for graduate students, and to read it oneneeds to first go through the basics of abstract spaces and functional analysis.” – Dr. Syed Abbas, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, India

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Constrained Bayesian Methods of Hypotheses Testing: A New Philosophy of Hypotheses Testing in Parallel and Sequential Experiments

“Hypothesis testing is one of the basic branches of mathematical statistics which is very important for other problems of statistics and has a great application to many theoretical and practical problems. The first statement of the problem and its solution, applying t-test, was realized by Student at the beginning of the previous century.” READ MORE…Alexander Topchishvili, Professor, Dr. Habil. Ing.

“The monograph suggests a new approach to the statistical hypothesis testing, the constrained Bayesian method (CBM). It maintains all the benefits of the basic methods of hypotheses testing. Namely, it uses a data-dependent measure like in Fisher’s test; for making decision it exploits a posteriori probabilities like in Jeffrey’s test and compute Type 1 and Type 2 error probabilities like in Neyman-Pearson’s approach.” READ MORE…Sergei Chobanyan, Visiting Professor of Department of Statistics, Michigan State University, USA

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Infant Feeding: Parental Perceptions, Behaviors and Health Effects

“This is a fascinating book but not one to skim through quickly. Aimed at researchers, practitioners and health professionals, many of its chapters could be expanded to book-length, describing experimental studies or literature reviews on a range of behavioural, biological and health questions around infant feeding.A fair bit of stamina may be needed to get through the first two chapters, which although covering important topics, appear to be written more for readers already familiar with the authors’ academic field. Nonetheless, they help to establish something of the range of research around breastfeeding that has taken place over the past 50 years.

Chapter 1 reviews evidence for the nutritional and biological effects of breastfeeding, while Chapter 2 summarises more than four decades of research at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Nursing, on the development of theoretical models to understand mothers’ experience of feeding. The work stresses the need for those supporting mothers with feeding problems to consider the mothers’ perceptions and goals in order to help resolve any issues.I found subsequent chapters more accessible, and was especially interested in studies touching upon the relationships between breastfeeding behaviour and maternal depression, and self-image.

Chapter 3, for example, describes a doctoral study suggesting that depressed mothers may need additional feedback, based on an objective measure of how much milk her baby is receiving, in order to help raise their self-efficacy, or confidence, around breastfeeding. Chapter 4 describes a study showing that breastfeeding appears to help overcome the negative effect of depression on a mother’s interactivity with her baby during feeding: depressed mothers who breastfeed are more similar in their interactivity with babies to non-depressed mothers, compared to depressed mothers who bottle feed, across the first three months of life.

The reasons are unclear but could involve the role of tactile stimulation in triggering the release of oxytocin in the mother, which in turn improves her mood and interactivity with her child. In Chapter 5, Amy Brown from the University of Swansea highlights the strong influence that a mother’s body weight and body image can have on her feeding decisions in the first year. For example, mothers with higher body weight and concerns about their weight are more likely to be restrictive in how they feed their infants, regardless of their baby’s actual body weight. A mother’s dissatisfaction with her body image may also reduce self-esteem and contribute to anxiety and depression – all of which can influence decisions around breastfeeding.A major theme throughout the book is the shift in research over the past few decades from a focus on the quality of attachment between mother and baby to the practice of responsive feeding and its influence on infant growth and weight. Responsive feeding refers to a practice in which the mother or other caregiver responds sensitively to infant feeding cues for hunger and satiety and avoids the use of controlling actions such as force-feeding.

This is thought to encourage better feeding practice in multiple settings, as reviewed in Chapters 9 and 10. In low-income countries such as Bangladesh, responsive feeding can lead to improved weight gain in faltered growth or underweight children, but only if linked to access to nutritional foods. Although a complex picture, in some settings this may relate to the apparent controlling behaviour of caregivers who are concerned that undereating may cause illness or death, and high rates of food refusal by young children. Intriguingly, the same strategy – encouraging responsive feeding – is showing promise in slowing weight gain and reducing the risk of obesity. This is of broader policy and practical relevance, as interventions aimed at encouraging a more responsive style of feeding are now endorsed by WHO and UNICEF as a way to tackle both underweight and faltered growth in children, and childhood obesity.

The statistics are sobering: 30% of children under five in low- and middle-income countries are stunted (168 million), while obesity affects 40 million children under five worldwide.Clinical guidelines provided by WHO, the US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Academy of Pediatrics promote responsive feeding, based on the premise that babies have an innate ability to self-regulate their food. They advocate that parents should focus on choosing what a child eats, while the child be allowed to decide how much they eat. Practitioners are recommended to discuss with parents how to respond to infant hunger and satiety cues, including when bottle feeding, to allow infants to pause and rest between feeds.I was disappointed with the little direct attention given to the reasons why bottle feeding is associated with poorer outcomes, and how a practitioner might help overcome these when supporting mothers who are bottle feeding. Only Chapter 6 directly examines differences between breast and bottle feeding, with an impressively detailed comparison of the mechanics of mouth positioning and sucking patterns, for example, and how these may influence infant feeding and growth.

It dispels certain notions based on earlier studies, such as babies who are bottle fed having lower oxygen saturation than babies who are breastfed. Once thought to be due to differences in coordination of sucking, breathing and swallowing, more recent studies using soft teats instead of hard rubber teats reveal no such differences. Similarly, the idea of ‘nipple confusion’, in which infants who are offered bottle feeding may develop a preference for this over breastfeeding, has no scientific basis. While anecdotal and clinical reports suggest it, observational studies do not support a causal link between bottle introduction and breastfeeding cessation.Of considerable practical use, the book’s editor John Worrobey, reviews and catalogues 15 different methods for measuring and evaluating the behaviour and interaction of feeding mothers and babies, from birth to toddlerhood, for use in both research and clinical observational assessment.

This includes a ‘Feeding checklist’ which can differentiate reliably between the responsive and non-responsive behaviours of mothers and babies who are either thriving or showing faltered growth.Some of the experimental studies described are limited by their small size or uncertainty over their applicability to other health care settings. The topics covered, however, provide sufficient food-for-thought to prompt debate around what we do actually understand about what goes on during infant feeding, and how this information can be used to develop appropriate interventions that enhance the feeding experience for all mothers and their babies, tailored to different situations and decisions about breast versus bottle feeding.” – Dr. Julie Clayton, Editor Perspective, NCT. This review will be published in the June edition of MIDIRS Digest

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Informed Parents, Healthy Kids: Information You Need to Know to Find the Right Mental Health Practitioner

“Few books exist on the topic of guiding parents concerning the choice of health care providers in finding professional services for their emotionally distressed or psychologically disordered children and teens. And even fewer still have the substantial evidence based from science, the exceptional depth and breadth of the author’s clinical experience, and the wisdom contained in this book. I can think of no better resource for a parent to turn to first concerning the science-based care and treatments their child may require than this one. It will certainly be the first I recommend to families when asked for advice on this matter. My compliments to the author for investing the extraordinary amount of time such a book requires and the care taken in its preparation and my compliments to the reader for having the good sense to use it to guide them in their choice of health care professionals for their child..” – Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Virginia Treatment Center for Children and Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond, VA, USA

“This book is a wonderful resource for families and clinicians alike. Dr. Paniagua’s content in Informed Parents, Healthy Kids can be used to empower families in finding mental health providers that will provide services that are aligned with their cultural values. In order to make decisions, families need to have a good understanding of the purpose of intervention services and they need to recognize how critical it is to have a provider that is a true partner in supporting their needs. The old days of the mental health provider as “expert” and setting treatment goals outside the knowledge of the family are over. We are now in a pluralistic society that implores mental health providers to partner with families and set culturally appropriate treatment goals. The material shared in this book is a perfect tool for enabling that process to occur.” – Janine Jones, Ph.D, NCSP, Associate Professor, School Psychology, Director, School Psychology Program, University of Washington, USA

To read the review, click hereThomas A. Parham, Ph.D., President of California State University, Dominguez Hills, USA

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The Visually Disabled and the Elderly in the Age of IC Technologies

“This is a timely and useful volume of papers. Technological advances seem to be a daily occurrence, challenging social and educational institutions to keep pace. Realizing the inclusion and equality for persons with disabilities and the growing challenge of an aging population combined with increasing incidence of Alzheimer’s and other dementias will require making full use of technology. This volume provides useful guidance in meeting these challenges with scholarly rigor but presented in a way that will be easily understood by those engaged in the field or students. As a bonus, this volume brings insights and learning from Spain and the Spanish speaking world which are often difficult to access for English speakers. While technology may seem remote from the world of human rights and inclusion, it has become a major force in realizing these goals and this book makes a strong contribution.” – Tim Stainton, PhD, Professor and Director, Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship, University of British Columbia

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Quality of Life and Intellectual Disability: Knowledge Application to other Social and Educational Challenges

“If one is looking for an in-depth insight into the manifold aspects of the concept of quality of life, I would strongly commend the book Quality of Life and Intellectual Disability, for its encyclopaedic scope, perceptive contributions and immediate relevance to the field of intellectual disability. It merits an easily accessible place on the bookshelf of all practitioners who actively seek ways to enhance the quality of life of people with an intellectual disability.” – Dr. Robin Jackson, Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Learning Disability Studies University of Hertfordshire, UK

“Learning how all people with disabilities can achieve the highest quality of life possible is the next great challenge. This book provides an exciting action plan to make it happen.” – Dr. Paul Pagliano, Associate Professor, School of Education, James Cook University, Australia

“…an encompassing text on the emerging topic of QOL and its relationship to individuals with a disability, their families, and the professionals that support them. This book can help contribute towards creating positive changes in today’s society.” – James Cairns, M.A., International Journal of Child Youth and Family Studi

“The book…. provides a very timely overview on the various key aspects of what are essential to an individual and their family that can lead to happiness and a feeling that one’s quality of life has been fulfilled..” – Seth M. Keller, MD, Co-Chair NTG, Past President AADMD

“This masterly summary of the application of Quality of Life research could not have been published at a more opportune moment, coinciding as it does with world-wide debates on making a reality of the new post 2015 Development Goals and the existing international Human Rights Conventions….” – Peter Mittler, Emeritus Professor of Special Needs Education, University of Manchester, UN consultant on disability and education

“The volume is rich in ideas and insights and gives due recognition to the importance of empirical evidence, as well as underlying values. It is well- organized and systematic in its treatment of the topic. I was particularly pleased to see Quality of Life being extended beyond disability to encompass a broad range of individuals, as well as families and systems. The book deserves to reach a wide audience.” – David Mitchell, Adjunct Professor, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

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The Discovery of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep

“This is a superb review of the literature of sleep and wakefulness from an individual who has first-hand knowledge of the events leading to the discovery of REM sleep. Dr. Gottesmann provides new information as well as a unique perspective regarding this seminal event. I highly recommend this book to those interested in the any aspect of the critical scientific findings that led to the discovery of REM sleep.” – Michael H. Chase, Professor, Department of Physiology, UCLA School of Medicine, Center for Health Sciences, CA USA

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Risk Management: Strategies for Economic Development and Challenges in the Financial System

“I enjoyed reading this book. It competently covers a wide range of concepts for managing risk in a holistic way incorporating interdisciplinary views on the value of risk management. This book equips the reader with the knowledge on different facets of risk management as well as presents important findings as implications for public policy. As such, the edited book collection “Risk Management: Strategies for Economic Development and Challenges in the Financial System” represents a notable contribution to the field of risk management. I recommend the book to academics and professionals and also encourage its use in courses covering risk management.” – Dr. Darja Peljhan, PhD, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics, Slovenia

“The book collection “Risk Management, Strategies for Economic Development and Challenges in the Financial System”, effectively edited by Danijela Miloš Sprèiæ, brings together 14 research and review papers authored by 24 distinguished academics and professionals in Corporate Governance, Management, Finance, Auditing and Public Policy. It brings together ideas, concepts and practices developed in various risk markets and academic fields to provide a much-needed overview of different approaches to risk management. Combining academic severity and practical experience, this book is an important resource for graduate students and professionals concerned with strategic risk management.” – Dr. Dimitrios Maditinos, PhD, Technological Educational Institute of Kavala, Greece

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Safety and Performance Total Respect Management (TR³M): A Novel Approach to Achieve Safety and Performance Proactively in Any Organisation

“This book puts risk management into a larger context where Total Respect Management aims to develop a holistic view on value creation, not only for the shareholders, but also for the society, i.e. respect all stakeholders’ objectives. It gives insight into a balanced and integrated combination of leadership, management and excellence.” – Eyvind Aven, Vice President Enterprise Risk Management, CFO PMR ERM, Statoil ASA, Norway

“The authors have dissected safety and its relationship to performance to enable the reader to understand the dependencies and, importantly, the opportunities created by their intersection. While I believe risk is the ultimate enabler or impediment to strategic goal achievement, safety is a critical component of organizational cultures and by correlation, their performance. You’ll come away from this work with a better understanding of why both are inherently true.” – Chris Mandel, RF, CPCU, ARM-E, AIC, SVP, Strategic Solutions, Sedgwick & Director of the Sedgwick Institute, Nashville Tennessee, USA

“Safety and Performance by Blokland and Reniers offers readers a clear path to integrating key safety and security management principles and concepts into all levels of the enterprise.” – Jason L Brown, FSyI, CSyP, RSecP., National Security Director, Thales Australia & New Zealand

“Hurray, finally a book that sees safety and performance as two sides of the same coin! Blokland and Reniers help us imagine futures that can inspire action toward a different way of organizing our work–so that it can be better and safer. Let’s not just try to find what’s wrong and fix that, they argue. Instead, let’s focus our energy on what works already and build from there.” – Professor Sidney Dekker MA MSc PhD, Director, Safety Science Innovation Lab Griffith University, Australia

“If you want to perform better in whatever industry then this is the book for this, you will learn from the positive and negative events and that is a paradigm shift for safety professionals. The book has extremely interesting and unusual practical, deep, and even philosophical examples that cater for all audiences.” – Adel Bataweel, PhD MBA, Consultant and Chairman of risk management, King Fahad Medical City, Saudi Arabia

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