- 3,99 €
Description de l’éditeur
A relatable, interactive, and funny exploration of algorithms, those essential building blocks of computer science - and of everyday life - from the author of the wildly popular Bad Arguments.
Algorithms -- processes that are made up of unambiguous steps and do something useful -- make up the very foundations of computer science. Yet, they also inform our choices in approaching everyday tasks, from managing a pile of clothes fresh out of the dryer to deciding what music to listen to.
With Bad Choices, Ali Almossawi, presents twelve scenes from everyday life that help demonstrate and demystify the fundamental algorithms that drive computer science, bringing these seemingly elusive concepts into the understandable realms of the everyday.
Readers will discover how:
· Matching socks can teach you about search and hash tables
· Planning trips to the store can demonstrate the value of stacks
· Deciding what music to listen to shows why link analysis is all-important
· Crafting a succinct Tweet draws on ideas from compression
· Making your way through a grocery list helps explain priority queues and traversing graphs
· And more
As you better understand algorithms, you'll also discover what makes a method faster and more efficient, helping you become a more nimble, creative problem-solver, ready to face new challenges. Bad Choices will open the world of algorithms to all readers making this a perennial go-to for fans of quirky, accessible science books.
Following 2014's An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments, computer scientist Almossawi takes another crack at explaining logic to the masses, this time with less success. He attempts to acquaint readers with "algorithmic thinking" by drawing comparisons to activities in everyday life, defining an algorithm as "a series of unambiguous steps that achieves some meaningful objective in finite time." Each chapter takes a look at a task, such as sorting socks or making a grocery run, and offers two or three possible methods of accomplishing that task. The author's quirky sense of humor is rather hit or miss, as are the illustrations by Alejandro Giraldo; why does the chapter on sock sorting feature a backpacker staring down a well? The book is filled with computer science terminology, which tends to obfuscate rather than clarify. At one point, Almossawi tells readers that "whenever our hash function happens to resolve to a location that has multiple items, we end up having to iterate over those items until we find the one that we're looking for. All this is of course completely transparent to the user." As a result, the book reads like an instruction manual for computer scientists who need suggestions on navigating household chores, rather than a book on computer science for lay readers. B&w illus.