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# Category Archives: computation

## Book review: Guesstimation 2.0

Guesstimation 2.0: Solving Today’s Problems on the Back of a NapkinLawrence Weinstein I got a review copy of this book, and initially decided I wasn’t going to review it—I hate those sorts of consulting-company-interview estimation problems, you know, like “what … Continue reading

Posted in books, computation, review
Tagged book, estimation, guessing, review

## Book review: Lauren Ipsum

Lauren Ipsumstory by Carlos Bueno; illustrations by Ytaelena López I don’t quite remember how I first stumbled across the website for this little gem of a book, billing itself as “a story about computer science and other improbable things”. But … Continue reading

Posted in books, computation, review, teaching
Tagged Alice in Wonderland, computer science, fun, ideas, Ipsum, Lauren
1 Comment

## What I Do, Part I: Programming languages (Up-Goer 5 edition)

“Splasho” has has created an online text editor which checks to make sure you use only the 1000 most common English words, inspired by this recent XKCD comic. Over the past few weeks, many scientists have taken up the challenge … Continue reading

## Mersenne primes and the Lucas-Lehmer test

Mersenne numbers, named after Marin Mersenne, are numbers of the form . The first few Mersenne numbers are therefore , , , , , and so on. Mersenne numbers come up all the time in computer science (for example, is … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, computation, famous numbers, iteration, modular arithmetic, number theory, primes
Tagged lehmer, lucas, Mersenne, prime, test
3 Comments

## Book review: Discrete and Computational Geometry

Discrete and Computational GeometrySatyan L. Devadoss & Joseph O’Rourke [Full disclosure: Princeton Press kindly sent me a free review copy of this book, and Satyan Devadoss is a (former) teacher and (current) good friend of mine. I was the TA … Continue reading

Posted in books, computation, geometry, pictures, review

## What I Do, Part 1: Programming languages

[This is the second in an occasional series of posts explaining what I do in my “day job” as a computer science PhD student. The idea is to write a series of posts of increasing specificity, but all aimed at … Continue reading

## Making a computer out of… dominoes?

When I mentioned carrying out computational processes with a room full of dominoes, I wasn’t kidding. Matt Parker is planning to build a domino computer at the Manchester Science Festival at the end of the month. The Manchester Science Festival … Continue reading

Posted in computation, links, video
Tagged computer, domino, festival, Manchester, Matt Parker, science
4 Comments

## Book review: In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman

As mathematical problems go, the “traveling salesman problem” (TSP) is a rare gem: it is simultaneously of great theoretical, historical, and practical interest. On the theoretical front, it is a well-known example of the class of “NP-complete” problems, which lie … Continue reading

Posted in books, computation, geometry, open problems, review
Tagged book review, salesman, TSP. traveling
6 Comments

## Book review: Nine Algorithms that Changed the Future

Nine Algorithms that Changed the Future: the Ingenious Ideas that Drive Today’s Computers, by John MacCormick. Princeton University Press, 2012. I’m often wary of books written for general audiences on technical topics. It’s quite difficult to write in a way … Continue reading

Posted in books, computation, review
Tagged algorithms, history, John MacCormick