Course Proposal : Studying Optimization of Complex Systems By Modeling Them as Spin Glasses

Reproduction from C. Speranza's Master's Thesis show at Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, May 1989.

A course to be offered at San Francisco State.


There are many branches of science where the olde methods of 19th century mathematics and physics have yielded their last fruits. These methods rely primarily on linear differential equations and on approximating solutions of complex, coupled systems - usually described by non-linear differential equations - by small perturbations about non-interacting, free solutions. There are many branches of Science, like Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, BioPhysics, Physics, Economics, Psychology, and others, where these perturbative solutions are not sufficient anymore. There is a need to develop new methods to study these non-linear, non-perturbative solutions. In this Course I am proposing to study one such method, which arose in the study of Condensed Matter Physics, namely Spin Glasses, and look at its applications to some of the branches of Science mentioned above.

Course of Study
This is a proposal for a Master's level or undergraduate level course. This course would cover several topics


In this course we will use the book by Mezard, Parisi & Virasoro;
Ashcroft and Mermin's book on condensed matter as well as a book on numerical recipes.
Serpent Lord
Reproduction from J. Campbell's Occidental Mythologies.
(To Physics Research)

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