Out of Their Minds: The Lives and Discoveries of 15 Great Computer Scientists
Imagine living during the Renaissance and being able to interview that era's greatest scientists about their inspirations, discoveries, and personal interests. The latter half of our century has seen its own Renaissance--informations technology has changed irrevocable the way we live, work, and think about the world. We are fortunate, therefore, that the authors of Out of...more
Hardcover, 291 pages
Published September 14th 1995 by Springer
(first published 1995)
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
(showing 1-30 of 187)
This is a well-written collection of short biographies of twelve computer scientists (Stephen Cook and Leonid Levin of computational complexity, Leslie Lamport of distributed systems, Edsger Dijkstra, Donald Knuth, Michael Rabin and Robert Tarjan of algorithmics, John Backus, Alan Kay and John McCarthy of programming languages, Edward Feigenbaum and Douglas Lenat of AI) and three hardware and software engineers (Frederick Brooks of OS/360, Cray cofounder Burton Smith, Daniel Hillis of Connection...more
Covers the heros of computer science: Dijkstra, Lenat, Alan Kay, and some lesser-known (but no less important) scientists. The book makes a noble attempt to thread their discoveries and work together in a timeline leading up to the present, but unfortunately some of the biographies were just too dry and I ended up skimming through a few. But the book also makes a decent attempt at covering the technical details of their work (NP-completeness, search algorithms, memory latency) and its in this as...more
A nice overview of Computer Science discoveries found by living computer scientists: Knuth, Dijkstra, Backus, etc., My main complaint is that all the heavy concepts it goes into, such as P=NP, or even the shortest-path algorithm, are better explained elsewhere. I'ts a quick and dirty overview, not something you can really learn a lot from if you have a background in the topic. I found the glossary at the end as informative as the book.
I love reading about great computer scientists. Even more about great logical leaps and "a-ha!" moments. This book was entertaining, but simply did not have the kind of depth and true understanding I would have hoped for.