John L. Casti (born 1943) is an author, mathematician, and entrepreneur.
As an author, Casti has written more than 120 scientific articles and seven technical monographs and textbooks on mathematical modeling. In addition, he was formerly editor of the journals Applied Mathematics & Computation (Elsevier, New York) and Complexity (Wiley, New York). In 1989 his text/reference works Alternate Realities: Mathematical Models of Nature and Man (Wiley, 1989) was awarded a prize by the Association of American Publishers in a competition among all scholarly books published in mathematics and the natural sciences. In 1992, he also published Reality Rules (Wiley, New York), a two-volume text on mathematical modeling. In addition to these technical volumes, he has written fourteen popular books on science. These include Paradigms Lost: Images of Man in the Mirror of Science (Morrow, NY, 1989), which addresses several of the most puzzling controversies in modern science, Searching for Certainty: What Scientists Can Know About the Future (Morrow, NY, 1991), a volume dealing with problems of scientific prediction and explanation of everyday events like the weather, stock market price movements and the outbreak of warfare, and Complexification (HarperCollins, NY, 1994), a study of complex systems and the manner in which they give rise to counterintuitive, surprising behavior. Dr. Casti has also written three popular volumes on mathematics: Five Golden Rules: Great Theories of 20th-Century Mathematics—and Why They Matter; a sequel, Five More Golden Rules (1995, 2000) both published by John Wiley & Sons (New York); and Mathematical Mountaintops: The Five Most Famous Problems of All Time, published and later recalled by Oxford University Press (New York). In addition, in 1996 he published Would-Be Worlds, a volume on computer simulation and the way it promises to change the way we do science, also published by John Wiley & Sons (New York). In 1998 he published a volume of scientific fiction, involving Ludwig Wittgenstein, Alan Turing, J. B. S. Haldane, C. P. Snow and Erwin Schrödinger in a fictional dinner-party conversation centered about the question of the uniqueness of human cognition and the possibility of thinking machines. This book was published under the title The Cambridge Quintet by Little, Brown (London) in December 1997 and by Addison-Wesley in the US in early 1998. More recently, his published books include Art & Complexity (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2005), a volume edited with A. Karlqvist, as well as a short volume on the life of the Austrian logician, Kurt Gödel, the book Gödel: A Life of Logic (Perseus Books, Cambridge, MA, 2003). In the same year he published the volume, The One, True, Platonic Heaven (Joseph Henry Press, Washington, DC, 2003), which addresses in a fictional format the question of the limits to scientific knowledge. The volume on art and complexity sparked off a continuing interest in the interrelationship between complex systems and artistic forms of all types, which is reflected in a set of papers currently in preparation addressing the complexity of scientific theories regarded as artistic forms.
As an entrepreneur, Casti formed two companies in Santa Fe and London in 2000, Qforma, Inc. and SimWorld, Ltd, respectively, devoted to the employment of tools and concepts from modern system theory for the solution of problems in business and finance, as well as health care. Qforma merged with SkilaMederi in June 2013. In early 2005 he returned to Vienna where he co-founded The Kenos Circle, a professional society that aims to make use of complexity science in order to gain a deeper insight into the future than that offered by more conventional statistical tools.
For several years, Professor Casti was a Senior Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria, where he created an initiative for the study on Extreme Events in Human Society. In January 2012 he left IIASA to form a new research institute in Vienna, The X-Center, devoted to the study of human-caused extreme events. The X-Center has now expanded to a network of affiliated X-Centers in Helsinki, Tokyo, Seoul, New York and Singapore. Since early 2013, Dr. Casti has been serving as a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Complex Systems and Enterprises at the Stevens Institute of Technology in the USA.
- Casti, John; Robert E. Kalaba (1973). Imbedding Methods in Applied Mathematics. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
- Casti, John (1977). Dynamical Systems and their Applications: Linear Theory. New York: Academic Press.
- Casti, John; Robert E. Larson (1978). Principles of Dynamic Programming–Part I. New York: Marcel Dekker.
- Casti, John; Robert E. Larson (1982). Principles of Dynamic Programming–Part II. New York: Marcel Dekker.
- Casti, John (1979). Connectivity, Complexity and Catastrophe in Large-Scale Systems. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
- Casti, John (1985). Nonlinear System Theory. New York: Academic Press.
- Casti, John (1987). Linear Dynamical Systems. New York: Academic Press.
- Casti, John (1989). Alternate Realities: Mathematical Models of Nature and Man. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
- Casti, John (1989). Paradigms Lost: Images of Man in the Mirror of Science. New York: William Morrow & Co.
- Casti, John (1991). Searching for Certainty: What Scientists Can Know About the Future. New York: William Morrow & Co.
- Casti, John (1992). Reality Rules-I: Picturing the World in Mathematics-The Fundamentals. New York: Wiley.
- Casti, John (1992). Reality Rules-II: Picturing the World in Mathematics-The Frontier. New York: Wiley.
- Casti, John (1994). Complexification: Explaining a Paradoxical World Through the Science of Surprise. New York: HarperCollins.
- Casti, John (1996). Five Golden Rules: Great Theories of 20th-Century Mathematics-and Why They Matter. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
- Casti, John (1997). Would-Be Worlds: How Simulation is Changing the Face of Science. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
- Casti, John (1998). The Cambridge Quintet: A Work of Scientific Speculation. London: Little, Brown, Ltd.
- Casti, John (2000). Paradigms Regained. New York: William Morrow & Co.
- Casti, John (2000). Five More Golden Rules. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
- Casti, John (2000). Goedel: A Life of Logic. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books.
- Casti, John (2001). Mathematical Mountaintops: The Five Most Famous Problems of All Time. New York: Oxford University Press. (Withdrawn for plagiarism, 2002.)
- Casti, John (2003). The One, True, Platonic Heaven: A Scientific Fiction. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press.
- Casti, John (2010). Mood Matters: From Rising Skirt Lengths to the Collapse of World Powers. New York: Copernicus Books.
- Casti, John (2012). X-Events: Complexity Overload and the Collapse of Everything. New York: HarperCollins.