Bad Choices: How Algorithms Can Help You Think Smarter and Live Happier
A relatable, interactive, and funny exploration of algorithms, those essential building blocks of computer scienceand of everyday lifefrom the author of the wildly popularBad Arguments
Algorithmsprocesses that are made up of unambiguous steps and do something usefulmake up the very foundations of computer science. But they also inform our choices in approaching everyday tasks, from managing a pile of clothes fresh out of the dryer to deciding what music to listen to.
WithBad Choices, Ali Almossawi presents twelve scenes from everyday life that help demonstrate and demystify the fundamental algorithms that drive computer science, bringing these seemingly elusive concepts into the understandable realms of the everyday.
Readers will discover how:
Matching socks can teach you about search and hash tables
Planning trips to the store can demonstrate the value of stacks
Deciding what music to listen to shows why link analysis is all-important
Crafting a succinct Tweet draws on ideas from compression
Making your way through a grocery list helps explain priority queues and traversing graphs
As you better understand algorithms, youll also discover what makes a method faster and more efficient, helping you become a more nimble, creative problem-solver, ready to face new challenges.Bad Choiceswill open the world of algorithms to all readers, making this a perennial go-to for fans of quirky, accessible science books.
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Praise for Ali Almossawis BAD CHOICES
One of the more clever ways of introducing computational thinking to the general public.
Vint Cerf, Turing Award winner, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, a Father of the Internet
Perfect for anyone wanting to understand the basics ofComputerScience.
Cesar Hidalgo, Director of the Collective Learning group at the MIT Media Lab
What I appreciated most was how the book became a survey of things I take for granted every day, shining a light on these algorithms and showing me different ways to think about and consider them.
Jamis Buck, author ofMazes for Programmers
Almossawi picks everyday tasks like sorting socks, discovering new music, and writing witty status updates and examines the most efficient ways to achieve them. Each short chapter, mercifully barren of headache-inducing formulas, spotlights different computer-science concepts that can be put to use ineach situation, like context switching and linearithmic time…. Anyone with a high-school-level understanding of math or a penchant for logicpuzzles will appreciate this easily digestible primer on how little choices can make a big difference.
About the Author
Ali Almossawiis the creator and maintainer ofAn Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments, which has been read by 2.4 million readers and translated into 17 languages, 11 of which were done by volunteers from across the world.Almossawi formerly worked on the Firefox team at Mozilla and is an alumnus of MIT’s System Design and Management program and Carnegie Mellons School of Computer Science. Previous stints included working as a research associate at Harvard and as a collaborator with the MIT Media Lab.