In the last few years, the search for radically new approaches to software engineering has witnessed a great momentum. These efforts are well justified by the troubling state of present day computer science. Software engineering practices based on design-time architectural composition (the only assessed way of doing software engineering so far), lead to brittle and fragile systems, unable to gracefully cope with reconfiguration and faults.
The Series ‘Topics in Molecular Organization and Engineering’ was initiated by
the Symposium ‘Molecules in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology’, which was held
in Paris in 1986. Appropriately dedicated to Professor Raymond Daudel, the
symposium was both broad in its scope and penetrating in its detail. The sections
of the symposium were: 1. The Concept of a Molecule; 2. Statics and Dynamics
of Isolated Molecules; 3. Molecular Interactions, Aggregates and Materials; 4.
Molecules in the Biological Sciences, and 5. Molecules in Neurobiology and So-
One of the major advances of science in the 20th century was the discovery of a mathematical
formulation of quantum mechanics by Heisenberg in 1925 .1 From a
mathematical point of view, this transition from classical mechanics to quantum mechanics
amounts to, among other things, passing from the commutative algebra of
classical observables to the noncommutative algebra of quantum mechanical observables.
To understand this better we recall that in classical mechanics an observable of
a system (e.g. energy, position, momentum, etc.
This work develops the geometry and dynamics of mechanical systems with
nonholonomic constraints and symmetry from the perspective of Lagrangian me-
chanics and with a view to control-theoretical applications. The basic methodology
is that of geometric mechanics applied to the Lagrange-d’Alembert formulation,
generalizing the use of connections and momentum maps associated with a given
symmetry group to this case.