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Many natural phenomena ranging from climate through to biology are described by complex dynamical systems. Getting information about these phenomena involves filtering noisy data and prediction based on incomplete information (complicated by the sheer number of parameters involved), and often we need to do this in real time, for example for weather forecasting or pollution control. All this is further complicated by the sheer number of parameters involved leading to further problems associated with the 'curse of dimensionality' and the 'curse of small ensemble size'. The authors develop, for the first time in book form, a systematic perspective on all these issues from the standpoint of applied mathematics. The book contains enough background material from filtering, turbulence theory and numerical analysis to make the presentation self-contained and suitable for graduate courses as well as for researchers in a range of disciplines where applied mathematics is required to enlighten observations and models.