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Lauren Ipsum [Paperback]

Carlos Bueno , Ytaelena L. Pez , Ytaelena Lopez
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 16.05 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Nov. 20 2011

A story about computer science and other improbable things. Laurie is lost in Userland. She knows where she is, or where she's going, but maybe not at the same time. The only way out is through Jargon-infested swamps, gates guarded by perfect logic, and the perils of breakfast time at the Philosopher's Diner. With just her wits and the help of a lizard who thinks he's a dinosaur, Laurie has to find her own way home.

Lauren Ipsum is a children's story about computer science. In 20 chapters she encounters dozens of ideas from timing attacks to algorithm design, the subtle power of names, and how to get a fair flip out of even the most unfair coin.

Get one, Give one: For every copy of Lauren Ipsum sold, another copy will be donated to schools, libraries, and educational programs. See www.laurenipsum.org for more details.


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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Was mostly what I expected... Sept. 23 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was mostly what I expected - it introduced some concepts without actually talking about computers. It was a bit obtuse in parts, and I wasn't really sure where the book was going, but my kids (6 and 8) liked it. Not sure how much CS they took out of the book, but I'll read it again to them when they are older.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  43 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking, entertaining read. Nov. 21 2011
By Ben Z - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Lauren Ipsum is a remarkable book, the latest in the exalted but rarefied tradition that runs from Lewis Carroll through The Phantom Tollbooth, making stops at Godel Escher Bach and others along the way. It covers a whimsical journey with fun characters across unknown cognitive lands, bringing to life logic and computer science puzzlers and thought experiments. Recommended for advanced youngsters and adults who are young at heart and like thinking about what they read. It's gentle and unintimidating if you're just curious, but I'm a professional technologist and still learned and solidified some great concepts while reading this book.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible! Finally an accessible intro to comp sci for kids! Nov. 30 2011
By Holy_Handgrenade - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was excited when I first learned about this project almost a month ago. Carlos decided to post the first chapter up on the projects main website which hooked me instantly. As soon as it was available I got it for the kindle and took the time to read it fully.

The exceptional part of this work is that it is an accessible introduction to computer science and how the various systems work. While this is not the first attempt I've seen at directing kids into the fascinating world of computer science, this is the first one that doesn't stumble on presenting complex topics such as math as a workbook or otherwise try to explain binary in a "textbook" sort of way.

Everything is presented in a very Alice in Wonderland style of story where every concept is explained from a character's point of view and uses characterizations to convey or represent specific concepts. In the case of binary, Carlos presents the ways that it is used first showing it in action, with our heroine, Laurie, asking the "how does it do that?" question which gets explained clearly by another character. Covering things like algorithms, encryption, security concepts, precision and heuristics, even presenting how to work on a timing attack. Userland is also described beautifully and makes some, not as obvious as other, attempts at explaining how computer systems are organized.

As an adult, I enjoyed the read. It was fun to go through and constantly going back through the chapters going "Ahh, I see what you did there!" All in all I highly recommend this book for anyone, not just kids.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought altering Nov. 23 2011
By Bill Sempf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I have read then and I have written them, but few books have changed the way I think about software development like Lauren Ipsum. Never have I read a clearer, more descriptive rendition of what computer science is REALLY about. So glad I sponsored the Kickstarter. After reading it myself and having my wife read it (She now knows I am a Composer!) I have been reading it to my son, a little at a time.

If you are even slightly interested in engineering, computer science or maths, you should give this book a try. I don't love many books, but when I do they have Turtles!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not only for kids Nov. 23 2011
By Michael Kohl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Written by an engineer working for Facebook and his wife, "Lauren Ipsum" is meant to be a book for teaching computer science to children. This is done in the form of a fairy tale that doesn't actually involve any computers, but instead focusses on programming as a way of thinking. This is a commendable teaching approach and to be honest not only children can profit from this. In fact I'm likely to use some of the stories and metapors from the book in future discussions, especially the one about the "byzantine process". Note that this is also fun for grown-ups, since it's full of nerdy puns that will be lost on kids anyway ("a maze of twisty little passages" anyone?).
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alice in Wonderland meets Martin Gardner March 15 2012
By Darth Breather - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great little book, modeled on Alice in Wonderland, updated and used to actually illustrate concepts in math and computer science. I think it would be fun to read aloud to a child. The structure of the book works; the chameleon is a nice foil to the main character, Lauren, and the problems are beautifully explained.

My problem with it was that it fell just short of what could have been wonderful: Lauren doesn't seem to have much personality or much of a response to anything. She's become a cardboard character - and she didn't need to be. It's all potentially there in the story. If the book is read aloud, this can be added in by the narrator, but it could have been on the page.

I think this would make a neat film.
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