The Advent Of The Algorithmby David Berlinski
Pub. Date: 05/01/2001
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Simply put, an algorithm is a set of instructions-it's the code that makes computers run. A basic idea that proved elusive for hundreds of years and bent the minds of the greatest thinkers in the world, the algorithm is what made the modern world possible. Without the algorithm, there would have been no computer, no Internet, no virtual reality, no e-mail, or any… See more details below
Simply put, an algorithm is a set of instructions-it's the code that makes computers run. A basic idea that proved elusive for hundreds of years and bent the minds of the greatest thinkers in the world, the algorithm is what made the modern world possible. Without the algorithm, there would have been no computer, no Internet, no virtual reality, no e-mail, or any other technological advance that we rely on every day.
In The Advent of the Algorithm, David Berlinski combines science, history, and math to explain and explore the intriguing story of how the algorithm was finally discovered by a succession of mathematicians and logicians, and how this paved the way for the digital age. Beginning with Leibniz and culminating in the middle of the twentieth century with the groundbreaking work of Gödel and Turing, The Advent of the Algorithm is an epic tale told with clarity and imaginative brilliance.
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Table of Contents
|Preface: The Digital Bureaucrat||xi|
|Introduction: The Jeweler's Velvet||xv|
|Chapter 1||The Marketplace of Schemes||1|
|Chapter 2||Under the Eye of Doubt||21|
|Chapter 3||Bruno the Fastidious||46|
|Chapter 4||Cargoload and Crack-Up||64|
|Chapter 5||Hilbert Takes Command||96|
|Chapter 6||Godel in Vienna||116|
|Chapter 7||The Dangerous Discipline||146|
|Chapter 8||Flight into Abstraction||155|
|Chapter 9||The Imaginary Machine||181|
|Chapter 11||The Peacock of Reason||205|
|Chapter 12||Time Against Time||215|
|Chapter 13||An Artifact of Mind||249|
|Chapter 14||A World of Many Gods||275|
|Chapter 15||The Cross of Words||306|
|Epilogue: The Idea of Order at Key West||332|
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Following up his Tour of the Calculus tour-de-force, David Berlinski scores again with his history of algorithms. More so than the calculus book, though, this one bogs down in spots and gets positively murky at the end when he takes on DNA. Nonetheless,a great intro for the mathematically challenged and literately-oriented.
Mr. Berlinski has written an excellent work detailing the numerous developments in mathematical logic which eventually led to the birth of the modern computer. We meet all the characters in this incredible journey; Leibniz, Peano, Frege, Godel, Church, Kleene, Turing, Von Neumann, and Shannon. Not only does Mr. Berlinski bring all these individuals to life, he also does a wonderful job of introducing the reader to the intricacies of mathematical logic. Moreover, he uses a number of intriguing fictional episodes,which are interspersed throughout the book, to illustrate many of the more technical points in logic. In conclusion, The Advent of the Algorith allows the reader to grasp how modern mathematical logic led to the birth of the computer which has forged the modern world. A first rate introduction to mathematical logic.
David Berilnski is one of the most gentile of men. I have experienced him working, and he is amazing. A genius, and he helped me discover the genius in myself!