Computer Science Quotes

Quotes tagged as "computer-science" Showing 1-30 of 126
Edsger W. Dijkstra
“The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim.”
Edsger W. Dijkstra

Donald Ervin Knuth
“The best programs are written so that computing machines can perform them quickly and so that human beings can understand them clearly. A programmer is ideally an essayist who works with traditional aesthetic and literary forms as well as mathematical concepts, to communicate the way that an algorithm works and to convince a reader that the results will be correct.”
Donald E. Knuth, Selected Papers on Computer Science

Brian Christian
“Seemingly innocuous language like 'Oh, I'm flexible' or 'What do you want to do tonight?' has a dark computational underbelly that should make you think twice. It has the veneer of kindness about it, but it does two deeply alarming things. First, it passes the cognitive buck: 'Here's a problem, you handle it.' Second, by not stating your preferences, it invites the others to simulate or imagine them. And as we have seen, the simulation of the minds of others is one of the biggest computational challenges a mind (or machine) can ever face.”
Brian Christian, Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

Christopher Hopper
“Well, writing novels is incredibly simple: an author sits down…and writes.

Granted, most writers I know are a bit strange.

Some, downright weird.

But then again, you’d have to be.

To spend hundreds and hundreds of hours sitting in front of a computer screen staring at lines of information is pretty tedious. More like a computer programmer. And no matter how cool the Matrix made looking at code seem, computer programmers are even weirder than authors.”
Christopher Hopper

“The most important property of a program is whether it accomplishes the intention of its user.”
C.A.R. Hoare

Nick  Black
“...if you aren't, at any given time, scandalized by code you wrote five or even three years ago, you're not learning anywhere near enough”
Nick Black

Ram Ray
“No matter which field of work you want to go in, it is of great importance to learn at least one programming language.”
Ram Ray

Alan Kay
“I don't know how many of you have ever met Dijkstra, but you probably know that arrogance in computer science is measured in nano-Dijkstras.”
Alan Kay

Dennis M. Ritchie
“C is quirky, flawed, and an enormous success.”
Dennis M. Ritchie

“I think that it’s extraordinarily important that we in computer science keep fun in computing. When it started out it was an awful lot of fun. Of course the paying customers got shafted every now and then and after a while we began to take their complaints seriously. We began to feel as if we really were responsible for the successful error-free perfect use of these machines. I don’t think we are. I think we’re responsible for stretching them setting them off in new directions and keeping fun in the house. I hope the field of computer science never loses its sense of fun. Above all I hope we don’t become missionaries. Don’t feel as if you’re Bible sales-men. The world has too many of those already. What you know about computing other people will learn. Don’t feel as if the key to successful computing is only in your hands. What’s in your hands I think and hope is intelligence: the ability to see the machine as more than when you were first led up to it that you can make it more.”
Alan J. Perlis

“Code is not like other how-computers-work books. It doesn't have big color illustrations of disk drives with arrows showing how the data sweeps into the computer. Code has no drawings of trains carrying a cargo of zeros and ones. Metaphors and similes are wonderful literary devices but they do nothing but obscure the beauty of technology.”
Charles Petzold, Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software

“Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant
to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap
bubble?”
Alan J Perlis

Cory Althoff
“You are not reading this book because a teacher assigned it to you, you are reading it because you have a desire to learn, and wanting to learn is the biggest advantage you can have.”
Cory Althoff, The Self-Taught Programmer: The Definitive Guide to Programming Professionally

Neal Stephenson
“Unix is not so much a product as it is a painstakingly compiled oral history of the hacker subculture. It is our Gilgamesh epic: a living body of narrative that many people know by heart, and tell over and over again—making their own personal embellishments whenever it strikes their fancy. The bad embellishments are shouted down, the good ones picked up by others, polished, improved, and, over time, incorporated into the story. […] Thus Unix has slowly accreted around a simple kernel and acquired a kind of complexity and asymmetry about it that is organic, like the roots of a tree, or the branchings of a coronary artery. Understanding it is more like anatomy than physics.”
Neal Stephenson

“While functions being unable to change state is good because it helps us reason about our programs, there's one problem with that. If a function can't change anything in the world, how is it supposed to tell us what it calculated? In order to tell us what it calculated, it has to change the state of an output device (usually the state of the screen), which then emits photons that travel to our brain and change the state of our mind, man.”
Miran Lipovača

“What's in your hands I think and hope is intelligence: the ability to see the machine as more than when you were first led up to it that you can make it more.”
Alan J. Perlis

Douglas Edwards
“In search," Urs (Hölzle) believed, "the discussion was really, How can we outdistance our current system and make it look laughable? That's the best definition of success: if a new system comes out and everyone says, 'Wow, I can't believe we put up with that old thing because it was so primitive and limited compared to this.”
Douglas Edwards, I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59

“Although greed is considered one of the seven deadly sins, it turns out that greedy algorithms often perform quite well.”
Stuart Russell, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach

“loop {
work();
play();
; // <-- empty statement
}

Rust follows the tradition of C in allowing this. Empty statements do nothing except convey a slight feeling of melancholy. We mention them only for completeness.”
Jim Blandy, Jason Orendorff, Programming Rust: Fast, Safe Systems Development

Abhijit Naskar
“End-to-End encryption is practically a meaningless phrase used by internet-based companies to coax people into believing the modern myth of online privacy.”
Abhijit Naskar

“The original Ethernet consisted of a fat cable into which a wire coming from each computer was forcibly inserted using what was euphemistically referred to a vampire tap.”
Andrew Tanenbaum

“For many purposes, we need to understand the world as having things in it that are related to each other, not just variables with values. For example, we might notice that a large truck ahead of us is reversing into the driveway of a dairy farm but a cow has got loose and is blocking the truck’s path. A factored representation is unlikely to be pre-equipped with the attribute TruckAheadBackingIntoDairyFarmDrivewayBlockedByLooseCow with value true or false”
Stuart Russell, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach

“Coding is not just code, that is a live thing to serve everyone!”
Ming Song

“Discoveries can come in many different ways, and the most important thing is to be ready for them.”
Neil C. Jones, An Introduction to Bioinformatics Algorithms

“Programs should always have the form of paragraphs of comments that describe the intention of the program followed by paragraphs of code that implement that intention. All of the formatting should be designed to make readers as able as possible to read the code easily; the compiler doesn’t care. In particular, follow conventions of mathematics and your native language, not those you found in some random language manual. Write the comments first and then write the code, not the other way around. If you don’t know what you want to achieve and why, any code you write is, by definition, incorrect.”
Charles Wetherell, Etudes for Programmers

Vardhan Agrawal
“Machine learning, in the simplest terms, is the analysis of statistics to help computers make decisions base on repeatable characteristics found in the data.”
Vardhan Kishore Agrawal

Jean Baudrillard
“Computer science only indicates the retrospective omnipotence of our technologies. In other words, an infinite capacity to process data (but only data - i.e. the already given) and in no sense a new vision. With that science, we are entering an era of exhaustivity, which is also an era of exhaustion. Of generalized interactivity abolishing particularized action. Of the interface which abolishes challenge, passion, and rivalry between peoples, ideas and individuals which was always the source of the finest energies.

It is difficult to find a remedy for our own sadness, because we are ourselves implicated in it. It is difficult to find a remedy for other people's sadness because we are prisoners of it.”
Jean Baudrillard, Cool Memories

Herbert A. Simon
“This relation of program to environment opened up an exceedingly important role for computer simulation as a tool for achieving a deeper understanding of human behavior. For if it is the organization of components, and not their physical properties, that largely determines behavior, and if computers are organized somewhat in the image of man, then the computer becomes an obvious device for exploring the consequences of alternative organizational assumptions for human behavior. Psychology could move forward without awaiting the solutions by neurology of the problems of component design—however interesting and significant these components turn out to be.”
Herbert A. Simon, The Sciences of the Artificial

“Just as functions within computer science, ecosystems must become first-class citizens in biology. First-class functions are not merely sequences of steps, but genuine entities, which can be passed as arguments to and from other functions in the same manner as other data types. Languages that support this concept have a fundamentally greater expressive power than those that relegate functions to the status of 'second-class citizens' relative to first-class 'data' objects. Biology needs an analogous expressive power in order to refer properly to the role of ecosystems as carriers of fundamental patterns, and as entities parallel to and in some ways superseding organisms.”
Eric Smith, The Origin and Nature of Life on Earth: The Emergence of the Fourth Geosphere

Olawale Daniel
“Stop pushing people into web development as if it is the only true career path. Instead, push people into computer science, programming, coding, etc. There is so much competition because everyone is doing it, you just create a lot of demoralized and disgruntled people. There is more to programming than web development.”
Olawale Daniel

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