Once Upon an Algorithm: How Stories Explain Computing

WRITTEN BY: Martin Erwig

NARRATED BY: Walter Dixon


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10 hours 24 minutes
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Listen to Once Upon an Algorithm, narrated by the brilliant Walter Dixon, and embark on a mind-expanding journey through the fascinating world of computation. Forget the cliché of a computer scientist glued to a screen and frantically typing away; Martin Erwig shows us that computing is not limited to electronic devices. Instead, it encompasses the art of systematic problem-solving. And guess what? We engage in problem-solving activities every day without even realizing it.

Think about your morning routine. You wake up, take a refreshing shower, put on clothes, and savor a delicious breakfast. This seemingly mundane series of actions is, in fact, an algorithm—a set of carefully planned steps that resolves a recurring problem. Erwig masterfully dissects the concept of algorithm by drawing parallels between computing and our daily lives, as well as various stories that have captivated the world for generations.

Remember the timeless tale of Hansel and Gretel? They too relied on an algorithm to find their way back home from the treacherous forest. Explore the idea of unsolvability through the lens of the enchanting movie Groundhog Day. Join Sherlock Holmes as he cunningly manipulates data structures to solve crimes with unparalleled wit and imagination. Discover the secrets of Harry Potter's magical world, where the principles of types and abstraction hold sway. And let Indiana Jones guide you through the intricate art of searching, showcasing its inherent complexity.

In Once Upon an Algorithm, Erwig dives deep into an array of computing concepts, employing familiar narratives to enlighten readers. You'll gain insight into representations and diverse data organization strategies. Grapple with the enigma of "intractable" problems, delve into the intricacies of language and its ambiguous nature, and explore control structures, loops, and the perplexing halting problem. With Erwig's guidance, you'll navigate the maze of recursion, and become well-versed in the rules of identifying errors in algorithms.

Embrace the accessibility of this captivating book that beautifully demonstrates the significance of computation in our everyday lives. Listen attentively, for once you've grasped the profound connections Erwig presents, your approach to the simple act of getting up in the morning will never be the same again.

Our Rating
2.7 / 5
Fair enough. 😐
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