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Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future by Chris Bishop, John MacCormick

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Introduction: What Are the Extraordinary Ideas Computers Use Every Day?

This is a gift that I have…a foolish extravagant spirit, full of forms, figures, shapes, objects, ideas, apprehensions, motions, revolutions.

—WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Love's Labour's Lost

How were the great ideas of computer science born? Here's a selection:

• In the 1930s, before the first digital computer has even been built, a British genius founds the field of computer science, then goes on to prove that certain problems cannot be solved by any computer to be built in the future, no matter how fast, powerful, or cleverly designed.

• In 1948, a scientist working at a telephone company publishes a paper that founds the field of information theory. His work will allow computers ...

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