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Nine Algorithms that Changed the Future: The…

Nine Algorithms that Changed the Future: The Ingenious Ideas that Drive… (2012)

by John MacCormick (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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For a web developer like me with no formal computer science education, this book offers a great opportunity to explore some of the underlying mechanisms and ideas that are put to use in modern computing.

It is easy to read and understand and covers some very interesting material, with each chapter focusing on a particular problem and how an algorithm has been used to solve it.

While as far as I can tell the book contains no practical information for programmers as such, I found it quite inspirational and would therefore recommend it to anyone interested in learning about ideas in computing. ( )
  ilokhov | Jan 7, 2015 |
This is a book about the importance of computer science to the modern world. It is aimed at the novice and intended to generate enthusiasm for a subject that MacCormick feels is underrated and over-determined by a bias to software engineering. His discussions of the abstract ideas that found the various algorithms are admirable in their simplicity and elegance. ( )
  freelancer_frank | Oct 17, 2012 |
Intended as an intro to "the great ideas of computer science"; pitched at a very elementary and nontechnical level; marred by overleaf placement of figures (being unnumbered, they could be placed inline); drawing inspiration from the workings of the Internet for many of the examples -- e.g. PageRank algorithm, public-key cryptography, error-correcting codes, data compression, database operations, and digital signatures; and broadened out by chapters on computability and pattern recognition.
  fpagan | Apr 26, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
MacCormick, JohnAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bishop, ChrisForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schnitter, Pamela LewisCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0691147140, Hardcover)

Every day, we use our computers to perform remarkable feats. A simple web search picks out a handful of relevant needles from the world's biggest haystack: the billions of pages on the World Wide Web. Uploading a photo to Facebook transmits millions of pieces of information over numerous error-prone network links, yet somehow a perfect copy of the photo arrives intact. Without even knowing it, we use public-key cryptography to transmit secret information like credit card numbers; and we use digital signatures to verify the identity of the websites we visit. How do our computers perform these tasks with such ease?

This is the first book to answer that question in language anyone can understand, revealing the extraordinary ideas that power our PCs, laptops, and smartphones. Using vivid examples, John MacCormick explains the fundamental "tricks" behind nine types of computer algorithms, including artificial intelligence (where we learn about the "nearest neighbor trick" and "twenty questions trick"), Google's famous PageRank algorithm (which uses the "random surfer trick"), data compression, error correction, and much more.

These revolutionary algorithms have changed our world: this book unlocks their secrets, and lays bare the incredible ideas that our computers use every day.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:26 -0400)

Every day, we use our computers to perform remarkable feats. A simple web search picks out a handful of relevant needles from the world's biggest haystack: the billions of pages on the World Wide Web.

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