7 books like Networks

By Mark Newman,

Here are 7 books that Networks fans have personally recommended if you like Networks. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of An Introduction to Systems Biology: Design Principles of Biological Circuits (Chapman & Hall/CRC Mathematical and Computational Biology)

Karthik Raman Author Of An Introduction to Computational Systems Biology: Systems-Level Modelling of Cellular Networks

From my list on modelling biological systems and networks.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I studied control theory as an undergrad chemical engineer, mathematical models of complex phenomena have fascinated me. Mathematical models have the uncanny ability to uncover key aspects of biological systems, whose complexity poses a great challenge for understanding. As a researcher in systems biology for over 15 years, I have enjoyed reading several books that explore the exciting interface between computation and biology, trying to capture the burgeoning literature on this rapidly advancing field. I hope you enjoy these books and will join these authors on an exciting journey into the cartography of molecular networks underlying every living cell, using a variety of mathematical models!

Karthik's book list on modelling biological systems and networks

Karthik Raman Why did Karthik love this book?

One of the earliest books on this subject, Uri Alon presents an engaging account of biological networks. Focussing on transcriptional networks, and their motifs, the book illustrates the nexus between network structures and functions. The second edition of the book launched a few years ago and has some updated content and new material on interesting functionalities such as fold change detection. Uri Alon is a very accomplished scientist, mentor, and a leader in the field of biological networks/systems biology.

By Uri Alon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Introduction to Systems Biology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Thorough and accessible, this book presents the design principles of biological systems, and highlights the recurring circuit elements that make up biological networks. It provides a simple mathematical framework which can be used to understand and even design biological circuits. The textavoids specialist terms, focusing instead on several well-studied biological systems that concisely demonstrate key principles.

An Introduction to Systems Biology: Design Principles of Biological Circuits builds a solid foundation for the intuitive understanding of general principles. It encourages the reader to ask why a system is designed in a particular way and then proceeds to answer with simplified models.


Book cover of A First Course in Systems Biology

Karthik Raman Author Of An Introduction to Computational Systems Biology: Systems-Level Modelling of Cellular Networks

From my list on modelling biological systems and networks.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I studied control theory as an undergrad chemical engineer, mathematical models of complex phenomena have fascinated me. Mathematical models have the uncanny ability to uncover key aspects of biological systems, whose complexity poses a great challenge for understanding. As a researcher in systems biology for over 15 years, I have enjoyed reading several books that explore the exciting interface between computation and biology, trying to capture the burgeoning literature on this rapidly advancing field. I hope you enjoy these books and will join these authors on an exciting journey into the cartography of molecular networks underlying every living cell, using a variety of mathematical models!

Karthik's book list on modelling biological systems and networks

Karthik Raman Why did Karthik love this book?

One of the best broad-based textbooks covering a wide gamut of topics, and in-depth coverage of dynamic models. I like this book for a particularly engaging introduction to the practice of mathematical modelling, excellent catchy illustrations, and nice exercise problems/reading material at the end of each chapter. The book chooses to organise the methods by the type of network (gene systems, protein systems, metabolic systems, and so on). Voit is a very accomplished researcher in the area of dynamic systems modelling and is particularly known for his contributions to Biochemical Systems Theory.

By Eberhard Voit,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A First Course in Systems Biology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A First Course in Systems Biology is a textbook designed for advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Its main focus is the development of computational models and their applications to diverse biological systems.

Because the biological sciences have become so complex that no individual can acquire complete knowledge in any given area of specialization, the education of future systems biologists must instead develop a student's ability to retrieve, reformat, merge, and interpret complex biological information.

This book provides the reader with the background and mastery of methods to execute standard systems biology tasks, understand the modern literature, and launch into specialized…


Book cover of Systems Biology: Constraint-Based Reconstruction and Analysis

Karthik Raman Author Of An Introduction to Computational Systems Biology: Systems-Level Modelling of Cellular Networks

From my list on modelling biological systems and networks.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I studied control theory as an undergrad chemical engineer, mathematical models of complex phenomena have fascinated me. Mathematical models have the uncanny ability to uncover key aspects of biological systems, whose complexity poses a great challenge for understanding. As a researcher in systems biology for over 15 years, I have enjoyed reading several books that explore the exciting interface between computation and biology, trying to capture the burgeoning literature on this rapidly advancing field. I hope you enjoy these books and will join these authors on an exciting journey into the cartography of molecular networks underlying every living cell, using a variety of mathematical models!

Karthik's book list on modelling biological systems and networks

Karthik Raman Why did Karthik love this book?

An outstanding and authoritative reference on metabolic networks. Discusses all the mathematical foundations of constraint-based methods, followed by detailed discussions of various constraint-based modelling methods. Despite the age, this remains a thorough and excellent account of constraint-based modelling. A revised second edition of this book presents a more detailed overview of metabolic networks in different organisms and is up-to-date with several advances in the field. Palsson is one of the leaders in the field of systems biology and metabolic networks, and his lab is home to many of the most important constraint-based modelling methods, such as flux balance analysis.

By Bernhard Ø. Palsson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Systems Biology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Recent technological advances have enabled comprehensive determination of the molecular composition of living cells. The chemical interactions between many of these molecules are known, giving rise to genome-scale reconstructed biochemical reaction networks underlying cellular functions. Mathematical descriptions of the totality of these chemical interactions lead to genome-scale models that allow the computation of physiological functions. Reflecting these recent developments, this textbook explains how such quantitative and computable genotype-phenotype relationships are built using a genome-wide basis of information about the gene portfolio of a target organism. It describes how biological knowledge is assembled to reconstruct biochemical reaction networks, the formulation of…


Book cover of Systems Biology: A Textbook

Karthik Raman Author Of An Introduction to Computational Systems Biology: Systems-Level Modelling of Cellular Networks

From my list on modelling biological systems and networks.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I studied control theory as an undergrad chemical engineer, mathematical models of complex phenomena have fascinated me. Mathematical models have the uncanny ability to uncover key aspects of biological systems, whose complexity poses a great challenge for understanding. As a researcher in systems biology for over 15 years, I have enjoyed reading several books that explore the exciting interface between computation and biology, trying to capture the burgeoning literature on this rapidly advancing field. I hope you enjoy these books and will join these authors on an exciting journey into the cartography of molecular networks underlying every living cell, using a variety of mathematical models!

Karthik's book list on modelling biological systems and networks

Karthik Raman Why did Karthik love this book?

A very useful reference on systems biology, a sort of handbook, that provides a lot of breadth on systems biology topics. A unique aspect of this book is a set of chapters, introducing basic biology, mathematical techniques, experimental techniques, and a somewhat elaborate collection of databases/tools. Also includes material on stochastic modelling of biochemical reaction systems.

By Edda Klipp, Wolfram Liebermeister, Christoph Wierling , Axel Kowald

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Systems Biology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This advanced textbook is tailored to the needs of introductory course in Systems Biology. It has a compagnion website (WWW.WILEY-VCH.DE/HOME/SYSTEMSBIOLOGY) with solutions to questions in the book and several additional extensive working models. The book is related to the very successful previous title 'Systems Biology in Practice' and has incorporated the feedback and suggestions from many lecturers worldwide. The book addresses biologists as well as engineers and computer scientists. The interdisciplinary team of acclaimed authors worked closely together to ensure a comprehensive coverage with no overlaps in a homogenous and compelling style.


Book cover of Realistic Hope: Facing Global Challenges

Rick Szostak Author Of Making Sense of the Future

From my list on the future.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have read the future studies literature for decades. A few years ago an alumnus suggested that my university should create a course about the future. My dean encouraged me to look into it. On reading Bishop and Hines, Teaching About the Future, I was struck by the maturity of the field, the strength of their program that they describe, and the fact that they bemoan the lack of a book that could introduce newcomers to the field. I decided that I could write such a book, combining the latest research in the field with my own understandings of interdisciplinarity, world history, economics, and political activism.

Rick's book list on the future

Rick Szostak Why did Rick love this book?

The book addresses a dozen key challenges in our collective future.

Though the chapters are uneven in quality, I found that the book had many good ideas on how to address these challenges. The editors encourage broad community consultations regarding our futures, systems analysis of how challenges interact, and policy experimentation.

By Angela Wilkinson (editor), Betty Sue Flowers (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Realistic Hope as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We are running out of water, robots will take our jobs, we are eating ourselves to an early death, old age pension and health systems are bankrupting governments, and an immigration crisis is unravelling the European integration project. A growing number of nightmares, perfect storms, and global catastrophes create fear of the future. One response is technocratic optimism - we'll invent our way out of these impending crises. Or we'll simply ignore them as politically too hot to handle, too uncomfortable for experts - denied until crisis hits. History is littered with late lessons from early warnings. Cynicism is an…


Book cover of The Music of Life: Biology Beyond Genes

Michael Edgeworth McIntyre Author Of Science, Music, and Mathematics: The Deepest Connections

From my list on to get you past selfish-gene theory.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a scientist at the University of Cambridge who’s worked on environmental research topics such as jet streams and the Antarctic ozone hole. I’ve also worked on solar physics and musical acoustics. And other branches of science have always interested me. Toward the end of my career, I became fascinated by cutting-edge issues in biological evolution and natural selection. Evolution is far richer and more complex than you’d think from its popular description in terms of ‘selfish genes’. The complexities are central to understanding deep connections between the sciences, the arts, and human nature in general, and the profound differences between human intelligence and artificial intelligence.

Michael's book list on to get you past selfish-gene theory

Michael Edgeworth McIntyre Why did Michael love this book?

This short and lucid book by an eminent molecular biologist shows how our DNA and its genes do not act as a blueprint that dictates everything, as assumed by selfish-gene theory.

Rather, there’s a fascinating ‘systems biology’ of the DNA and its surrounding biomolecular ‘circuits’, which act like electronic circuits in many ways. Different parts influence each other. So there are influences on the DNA as well as from the DNA. Noble likens the DNA to a musical recording, which can influence our mood but not dictate it.

By Denis Noble,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Music of Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What is Life? Decades of research have resulted in the full mapping of the human genome - three billion pairs of code whose functions are only now being understood. The gene's eye view of life, advocated by evolutionary biology, sees living bodies as mere vehicles for the replication of the genetic codes.

But for a physiologist, working with the living organism, the view is a very different one. Denis Noble is a world renowned physiologist, and sets out an alternative view to the question - one that becomes deeply significant in terms of the living, breathing organism. The genome is…


Book cover of Graph Theory in America: The First Hundred Years

Gary Chartrand Author Of Mathematical Proofs: A Transition to Advanced Mathematics

From my list on if you want to be a mathematician.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have enjoyed mathematics and writing since I’ve been a kid, not only enjoying doing research in mathematics but assisting others to appreciate and enjoy mathematics. Along the way, I’ve gained an interest in the history of mathematics and the mathematicians who created mathematics. Perhaps most important, my primary goal has been to show others how enjoyable mathematics can be. Mathematics has given me the marvelous opportunity to meet and work with other mathematicians who have a similar passion for mathematics.

Gary's book list on if you want to be a mathematician

Gary Chartrand Why did Gary love this book?

Robin Wilson, the famous mathematical historian and storyteller with a great sense of humor, along with his co-authors, tell the story of how one particular area of mathematics (graph theory, my favorite area) got its start in the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe, found its way across the Atlantic to America, and what effect Americans had on this area of mathematics. It also tells the fascinating story of how and where more advanced mathematics became part of America. 

This book will be available Fall 2022.

By Robin J. Wilson, John J. Watkins, David J. Parks

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Graph Theory in America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How a new mathematical field grew and matured in America

Graph Theory in America focuses on the development of graph theory in North America from 1876 to 1976. At the beginning of this period, James Joseph Sylvester, perhaps the finest mathematician in the English-speaking world, took up his appointment as the first professor of mathematics at the Johns Hopkins University, where his inaugural lecture outlined connections between graph theory, algebra, and chemistry-shortly after, he introduced the word graph in our modern sense. A hundred years later, in 1976, graph theory witnessed the solution of the long-standing four color problem by…


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