The Pattern On The Stone

Author: W. Daniel Hillis
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465066879
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Most people are baffled by how computers work and assume that they will never understand them. What they don't realize—and what Daniel Hillis's short book brilliantly demonstrates—is that computers' seemingly complex operations can be broken down into a few simple parts that perform the same simple procedures over and over again. Computer wizard Hillis offers an easy-to-follow explanation of how data is processed that makes the operations of a computer seem as straightforward as those of a bicycle.Avoiding technobabble or discussions of advanced hardware, the lucid explanations and colorful anecdotes in The Pattern on the Stone go straight to the heart of what computers really do. Hillis proceeds from an outline of basic logic to clear descriptions of programming languages, algorithms, and memory. He then takes readers in simple steps up to the most exciting developments in computing today—quantum computing, parallel computing, neural networks, and self-organizing systems.Written clearly and succinctly by one of the world's leading computer scientists, The Pattern on the Stone is an indispensable guide to understanding the workings of that most ubiquitous and important of machines: the computer.

Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future

Author: John MacCormick
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691147140
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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.

Out of Their Minds

Author: Clifford D. Simak
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1504013263
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A writer finds himself trapped in an isolated village where anything imagined becomes reality in this wildly inventive contemporary fantasy Hoping to write his book in quiet and seclusion, Horton Smith has returned home to Pilot Knob. Here, in the tiny village where he passed so many carefree childhood years, he is untroubled by the pressures of the big city and can freely answer the call of his muse. Of course, back in the city Horton didn’t have to run from dinosaurs. There were no cartoon hillbillies offering him moonshine, Don Quixote was content to confine himself to the pages of a book, and the Devil himself was not on Horton’s tail. Something very, very unusual is going on in Pilot Knob, and Horton Smith is determined to get to the bottom of it—if his own imagination doesn’t kill him first! In Out of Their Minds, science fiction Grand Master Clifford D. Simak changes gears, treating his readers to a delightfully satiric flight of fancy and fantasy. An award-winning author renowned for his remarkable visions of the future, Simak brings creatures and characters from humankind’s collective imagination to breathtaking life in this fast-moving and unforgettable tale.

How Brains Think

Author: William H Calvin
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465066895
Format: PDF, ePub
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If you’re good at finding the one right answer to life’s multiple-choice questions, you’re ”smart.” But ”intelligence” is what you need when contemplating the leftovers in the refrigerator, trying to figure out what might go with them; or if you’re trying to speak a sentence that you’ve never spoken before. As Jean Piaget said, intelligence is what you use when you don’t know what to do, when all the standard answers are inadequate. This book tries to fathom how our inner life evolves from one topic to another, as we create and reject alternatives. Ever since Darwin, we’ve known that elegant things can emerge (indeed, self-organize) from ”simpler” beginnings. And, says theoretical neurophysiologist William H. Calvin, the bootstrapping of new ideas works much like the immune response or the evolution of a new animal species—except that the brain can turn the Darwinian crank a lot faster, on the time scale of thought and action. Drawing on anthropology, evolutionary biology, linguistics, and the neurosciences, Calvin also considers how a more intelligent brain developed using slow biological improvements over the last few million years. Long ago, evolving jack-of-all trades versatility was encouraged by abrupt climate changes. Now, evolving intelligence uses a nonbiological track: augmenting human intelligence and building intelligent machines.

Mind

Author: André Kukla
Publisher: Hackett Publishing
ISBN: 087220832X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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An historical overview and evaluation of modern psychology's theoretical foundations, Mind ranges from Descartes to dynamics in its discussion of such topics as introspectionism, psychoanalysis, behaviorism, and the varieties of contemporary cognitive science. Throughout, these theories are examined and assessed as attempts to construct an overall conception of the perso--as general theories of human nature.

Tubes

Author: Andrew Blum
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 1443414395
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Everybody knows that the Internet is the most powerful information network ever conceived. It is a gateway to information, a messenger of love and a fountain of riches and distraction. We are all connected now, but connected to what? In Tubes, acclaimed young journalist Andrew Blum takes readers on a fascinating journey to find out. As Blum writes, the Internet is tangible: it fills buildings, converges in some places in the world and avoids others, and it flows through tubes—along train lines and highways, and under oceans. You can map it, smell it and see it. As Tom Vanderbilt does in his bestselling Traffic, Blum goes behind the scenes of our everyday lives and combines first-rate reporting and engaging explanation into a fast-paced quest to explain the world in which we live. The room in Los Angeles where the Internet was born; the busy hub in downtown Toronto that links Canada with the world; a new undersea cable that connects West Africa and Europe; and the Great Pyramids of our time, the monumental data centres that Google and Facebook have built in the wilds of Oregon—Blum visits them all to chronicle the dramatic story of the Internet’s development and explain how it all works.

Computational Fairy Tales

Author: Jeremy Kubica
Publisher: Jeremy Kubica
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Have you ever thought that computer science should include more dragons and wizards? Computational Fairy Tales introduces principles of computational thinking, illustrating high-level computer science concepts, the motivation behind them, and their application in a non-computer—fairy tale—domain. It's a quest that will take you from learning the basics of programming in a blacksmith's forge to fighting curses with recursion.Fifteen seers delivered the same prophecy, without so much as a single minstrel to lighten the mood: an unknown darkness threatens the kingdom. Suddenly, Princess Ann finds herself sent forth alone to save the kingdom. Leaving behind her home, family, and pet turtle Fido, Princess Ann must face goblin attacks, magical curses, arrogant scholars, an unpleasant oracle, and rude Boolean waiters. Along the way she must build a war chest of computational knowledge to survive the coming challenge.

Implementation Patterns

Author: Kent Beck
Publisher: Pearson Education
ISBN: 9780132702553
Format: PDF
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Software Expert Kent Beck Presents a Catalog of Patterns Infinitely Useful for Everyday Programming Great code doesn’t just function: it clearly and consistently communicates your intentions, allowing other programmers to understand your code, rely on it, and modify it with confidence. But great code doesn’t just happen. It is the outcome of hundreds of small but critical decisions programmers make every single day. Now, legendary software innovator Kent Beck—known worldwide for creating Extreme Programming and pioneering software patterns and test-driven development—focuses on these critical decisions, unearthing powerful “implementation patterns” for writing programs that are simpler, clearer, better organized, and more cost effective. Beck collects 77 patterns for handling everyday programming tasks and writing more readable code. This new collection of patterns addresses many aspects of development, including class, state, behavior, method, collections, frameworks, and more. He uses diagrams, stories, examples, and essays to engage the reader as he illuminates the patterns. You’ll find proven solutions for handling everything from naming variables to checking exceptions.

The Book of Why

Author: Judea Pearl
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465097618
Format: PDF, Kindle
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How the study of causality revolutionized science and the world "Correlation is not causation." This mantra, chanted by scientists for more than a century, has led to a virtual prohibition on causal talk. Today, that taboo is dead. The causal revolution, instigated by Judea Pearl and his colleagues, has cut through a century of confusion and established causality--the study of cause and effect--on a firm scientific basis. His work explains how we can know easy things, like whether it was rain or a sprinkler that made a sidewalk wet; and how to answer hard questions, like whether a drug cured an illness. Pearl's work enables us to know not just whether one thing causes another: it lets us explore the world that is and the worlds that could have been. It shows us the essence of human thought and key to artificial intelligence. Anyone who wants to understand either needs The Book of Why.

No Small Matter

Author:
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780647035665
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A small revolution is remaking the world. The only problem is, we can't see it. Images and descriptions reveal the virtually invisible realities and possibilities of nanoscience. An introduction to the science and technology of small things. An overview of recent scientific advances that have given us our ever-shrinking microtechnology - for instance, an information processor connected by wires only 1,000 atoms wide. New methods are described that are used to study nanostructures, suggest ways of understanding their often bizarre behavior, and outline their uses in technology. The various means of making nanostructures are explained and speculated about their importance for critical developments in information processing, computation, biomedicine, and other areas. No Small Matter considers both the benefits and the risks of nano/microtechnology - from the potential of quantum computers and single-molecule genomic sequencers to the concerns about self-replicating nanosystems