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Talking with Computers: Explorations in the Science and Technology of Computing [Paperback]

Thomas Dean

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Book Description

March 15 2004 0521542049 978-0521542043 1
Thomas Dean explores a wide range of fundamental topics in computer science, from digital logic and machine language to artificial intelligence and the World Wide Web, explaining how computers and computer programs work and how the various subfields of computer science are interconnected. Dean touches on a number of questions including: How can a computer learn to recognize junk email? What happens when you click on a link in a browser? How can you program a robot to do two things at once? Are there limits to what computers can do? Dean encourages readers to experiment with short programs and fragments of code written in several languages to strip away the mystery and reveal the underlying computational ideas. The accompanying website (www.cs.brown.edu/tld/talk) provides access to code fragments, tips on finding and installing software, links to online resources, and exercises. Throughout Talking With Computers, Dean conveys his fascination with computers and enthusiasm for working in a field that has changed almost every aspect of our daily lives. Thomas Dean is Professor in the Computer Science Department at Brown University, where he served as Acting Vice President for Computing and Information Services from 2001-2002. He is co-author of Planning and Control (Morgan-Kaufman, 1991) and Artificial Intelligence: Theory and Practice (Addison-Wesley, 1995).

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Review

"...an excellent balance of breadth and depth that provides insight for general audiences without boring the specialist...extraordinary...Essential."
J. Beidler, University of Scranton, Choice

"... a lively introduction to many topics in computer science."
Mario Peruggia, The Ohio State University for The Journal of the American Statistician

"...a lovely introduction..." - Mario Peruggia, Journal of the American Statistical Association

Book Description

In this lively series of essays for students and general readers, Tom Dean explores interesting fundamental topics in computer science with the aim of showing how computers and computer programs work and how the various subfields of computer science are connected. Along the way, he conveys his fascination with computers and enthusiasm for working in a field that has changed almost every aspect of our daily lives. The accompanying website helps make the underlying computational ideas more concrete. There readers are invited to experiment with short programs written in several languages and to follow links to other online resources.

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