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9 Algorithms That Changed the Future The Ingenious Ideas That Drive Today's Computers

ISBN-10: 0691158193
ISBN-13: 9780691158198
Edition: 2012
List price: $14.95 Buy it from $5.89
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 5/5/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 232
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

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.

Foreword
Introduction: What Are the Extraordinary Ideas Computers Use Every Day?
Search Engine Indexing: Finding Needles in the World's Biggest Haystack
PageRank: The Technology That Launched Google
Public Key Cryptography: Sending Secrets on a Postcard
Error-Correcting Codes: Mistakes That Fix Themselves
Pattern Recognition: Learning from Experience
Data Compression: Something for Nothing
Databases: The Quest for Consistency
Digital Signatures: Who Really Wrote This Software?
What Is Computable?
Conclusion: More Genius at Your Fingertips?
Acknowledgments
Sources and Further Reading
Index

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