Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future: The Ingenious Ideas That Drive Today’s Computers
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. Without even knowing it, we use public-key cryptography to transmit 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?
Nine Algorithms that Changed the Future answers 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.
John MacCormick is a computer science teacher and researcher. MacCormick has a PhD in computer vision from the University of Oxford, has worked in the research labs of Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft, and is currently a professor of computer science at Dickinson College. His work spans several sub-fields of computer science, including computer vision, large-scale distributed systems, computer science education, and the public understanding of computer science. He grew up in New Zealand, studied mathematics and computer science in England, and now lives in Pennsylvania.
- John MacCormick
- Dickinson College