© 2001

The Geometry of Biological Time

  • Written by a leader in the field

  • A classical mathematical biology book

  • Concentrates on areas which will see much activity in the future


Part of the Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics book series (IAM, volume 12)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvi
  2. Arthur T. Winfree
    Pages 1-40
  3. Arthur T. Winfree
    Pages 80-100
  4. Arthur T. Winfree
    Pages 101-145
  5. Arthur T. Winfree
    Pages 146-160
  6. Arthur T. Winfree
    Pages 161-197
  7. Arthur T. Winfree
    Pages 198-228
  8. Arthur T. Winfree
    Pages 229-257
  9. Arthur T. Winfree
    Pages 258-302
  10. Arthur T. Winfree
    Pages 338-346
  11. Arthur T. Winfree
    Pages 347-367
  12. Arthur T. Winfree
    Pages 368-410
  13. Arthur T. Winfree
    Pages 443-454
  14. Arthur T. Winfree
    Pages 455-494
  15. Arthur T. Winfree
    Pages 495-536
  16. Arthur T. Winfree
    Pages 537-544
  17. Arthur T. Winfree
    Pages 545-591

About this book


Geometry of Biological Time deals with dynamics of processes that repeat themselves regularly. Such rhythmic return through a cycle of change is an ubiquitous principle of organization in living systems. In this revised and updated edition the author plans to extend the thread from 1980 to the present concentrating on areas which he personally feels have been interesting and where he feels there will be much activity in the future. This involves going through spatial biochemical, electrophysiological, and organismic dynamical systems and patterns that were discovered by pursuing the theme of phase singularities that the original book introduced. In particular the work on excitability in cell membranes has been thoroughly updated as have the references throughout the book.


Computerassistierte Detektion biological time cell division genetics mathematical biology metabolism tissue

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Geometry of Biological Time
  • Authors Arthur T. Winfree
  • Series Title Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York 2001
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-387-98992-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4419-3196-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4757-3484-3
  • Series ISSN 0939-6047
  • Edition Number 2
  • Number of Pages XXVI, 779
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Additional Information Originally published in the series: Springer Study Edition
  • Topics Applications of Mathematics
    Mathematical and Computational Biology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


From the reviews:

"This book is a wonderful exposition about his life’s work and is presented with such clarity that the reader gains an insight into details of his manner of thinking…the reader is taken on a quest to solve biological mysteries and travels from the intricate beginnings of formulating the questions, through the apices and troughs of analyzing, and on to the discovery of the holy grail, that which yields biological predictions and answers. One leaves with a sense of understanding that hopefully can be applied to one’s own work…this book could easily serve a dual purpose. First, through the introduction of basic mathematical concepts such as topology combined with modeling, the book serves as an introduction helping the non-applied reader to see the beauty of mathematical modeling. Second, because Winfree explains the modeling process very thoroughly, instead of just presenting equations, the book can serve as a medium for the medical professional to acquire an understanding of the modeling process. A wonderful accomplishment...I am proud to have this book on my shelf and consider it…a seminal text in mathematical modeling. This is a text that every first year graduate student should look at in some detail." (Mathematical Reviews)

"The new edition of The Geometry of Biological Time is a fascinating update of the delightful original. This new edition contains thoughtful commentary on new developments in the field, adding a historical and sociological dimension to the original book's elegant and unifying treatment of biological problems involving processes that repeat themselves regularly, i.e. involve 'rhythmic return through a cycle of change.' The book is an enjoyable page-turner, even for those readers with only a passing interest in biology, and demonstrates well the synergistic effect between biology and mathematics. ...
The term 'page-turner' may seem unusual in mathematics; however, it is appropriate here. Not only is the reader continually tantalized by the figures appearing on the ensuing pages, but the new commentary lends a mystery-novel feeling to the book. This second edition was created by inserting new text boxes into the original, mostly intact, edition. This style leads to a fascinating historical picture. For example, the text, '(...In the latter cases the periodicity approximation gets worse closer to the pivot. I wish here to sweep such matters under the rug (in 1978))' is followed by a new text box that begins, 'The bulge under the rug grew and grew...', continuing with a description of developments over the last two decades. The plot continues even now, with descriptions of the last twenty years often followed in the book by descriptions of current puzzles. In summary, the original book is good and the second edition is even better; the historical commentary is fascinating, and there are also a few reorganized and new chapters presenting additonal biological examples." (MAA Online)