CHAPTER 3

Visualizing abstraction

We have seen that computer programming is an art, because it applies accumulated knowledge to the world, because it requires skill and ingenuity, and especially because it produces objects of beauty. A programmer who subconsciously views himself as an artist will enjoy what he does and will do it better.

Donald E. KnuthTuring Award Lecture (1974)

We may say most aptly that the Analytical Engine weaves algebraical patterns just as the Jacquard-loom weaves flowers and leaves.

Ada LovelaceNotes (1843)

SUPPOSE we have a list of 1,000 two-dimensional points representing the sites of ancient artifacts discovered during an excavation, and we would like to know whether there is any pattern to our discoveries. By looking ...

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