The Advent of the Algorithm: The 300-Year Journey from an Idea to the Computer / Edition 1

The Advent of the Algorithm: The 300-Year Journey from an Idea to the Computer / Edition 1

4.7 3
by David Berlinski
     
 

ISBN-10: 0156013916

ISBN-13: 9780156013918

Pub. Date: 05/03/2001

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

Overview


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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780156013918
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
05/03/2001
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
795,033
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Preface: The Digital Bureaucratxi
Introduction: The Jeweler's Velvetxv
Chapter 1The Marketplace of Schemes1
Chapter 2Under the Eye of Doubt21
Chapter 3Bruno the Fastidious46
Chapter 4Cargoload and Crack-Up64
Chapter 5Hilbert Takes Command96
Chapter 6Godel in Vienna116
Chapter 7The Dangerous Discipline146
Chapter 8Flight into Abstraction155
Chapter 9The Imaginary Machine181
Chapter 10Postscript198
Chapter 11The Peacock of Reason205
Chapter 12Time Against Time215
Chapter 13An Artifact of Mind249
Chapter 14A World of Many Gods275
Chapter 15The Cross of Words306
Epilogue: The Idea of Order at Key West332
Acknowledgments335
Index337

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The Advent of the Algorithm: The 300-Year Journey from an Idea to the Computer 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!