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Talking with Computers
Explorations in the Science and Technology of Computing


  • Date Published: May 2004
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521542043

£ 33.99

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About the Authors
  • In this lively series of essays, 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 essays touch on a wide range of topics, from digital logic and machine language to artificial intelligence and searching the World Wide Web, considering such questions as: • 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 on what computers can do? The author invites readers to experiment with short programs written in several languages. Through these interactions he grounds the models and metaphors of computer science and makes the underlying computational ideas more concrete. The accompanying web site provides easy access to code fragments from the book, tips on finding and installing software, links to online resources, exercises and sample lectures.

    • Highly accessible overview of computer science
    • Covers topics in analysis of algorithms, artificial intelligence, complexity theory, computer architecture, databases, distributing computing, information retrieval, operating systems, programming languages and software engineering
    • Introduces tools that will be useful in everyday computing tasks
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This type of good sense permeates what is a broad and very readable introduction to aspects of computing, suitable for a fresher or someone considering degree-level study.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2004
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521542043
    • length: 316 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 189 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 31 b/w illus. 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Talking with computers
    2. The shell game
    3. Keeping track of your stuff
    4. Don't sweat the syntax
    5. Computational muddles
    6. Getting oriented
    7. Thanks for sharing
    8. You've got (junk) mail
    9. Modern architecture
    10. Do robots sleep
    11. Under the hood
    12. Analyze this
    13. Forest for the trees
    14. Searching the wild web
    15. Darwin's dangerous algorithm
    16. Ain't nobody here but us machines.

  • Author

    Thomas Dean, Brown University, Rhode Island
    Thomas Dean is Professor of Computer Science at Brown University, Rhode Island. Dean is a fellow of AAAI and a former member of the IJCAI Inc. Board of Trustees. He has served on the Executive Council of AAAI and the CRA Board of Directors. In addition, Dean has acted as progam chair to a number of international conferences in Artificial Intelligence, was recipient of an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, and has co-authored two popular books. His research interests include automated planning, machine learning, and robotics.

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