Computer Science Quotes

Quotes tagged as "computer-science" (showing 1-30 of 80)
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

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

“...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

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

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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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 one programmer can do in one month, two programmers can do in two months.”
Fred Brooks

Guy Debord
“The spectacle's instruction and the spectators' ignorance are wrongly seen as antagonistic factors when in fact they give birth to each other. In the same way, the computer's binary language is an irresistible inducement to the continual and unreserved acceptance of what has been programmed according to the wishes of someone else and passes for the timeless source of a superior, impartial and total logic. Such progress, such speed, such breadth of vocabulary! Political? Social? Make your choice. You cannot have both. My own choice is inescapable. They are jeering at us, and we know whom these programs are for. Thus it is hardly surprising that children should enthusiastically start their education at an early age with the Absolute Knowledge of computer science; while they are still unable to read, for reading demands making judgements at every line; and is the only access to the wealth of pre-spectacular human experience. Conversation is almost dead, and soon so too will be those who knew how to speak.”
Guy Debord, Comments on the Society of the Spectacle

Alan Turing
“It is possible to invent a single machine which can be used to compute any computable sequence.”
Alan Turing

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

Max Tegmark
“The DQN AI system of Google DeepMind can accomplish a slightly broader range of goals: it can play dozens of different vintage Atari computer games at human level or better. In contrast, human intelligence is thus far uniquely broad, able to master a dazzling panoply of skills.
A healthy child given enough training time can get fairly good not only at any game, but also at any language, sport or vocation. Comparing the intelligence of humans and machines today, we humans win hands-down on breadth, while machines outperform us in a small but growing number of narrow domains, as illustrated in figure 2.1. The holy grail AI research is to build “general AI” (better known as artificial general intelligence, AGI) that is maximally broad: able to accomplish virtually any goal, including learning.”
Max Tegmark, Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Herbert A. Simon
“I was transformed...because I caught a glimpse of a revolutionary use for computers. We seized the opportunity to the computer as a general processor for symbols (hence thoughts) rather than just a speedy engine for arithmetic.”
Herbert A. Simon, Models of My Life

“I’m glad someone’s finally giving ed the attention it deserves.”
 Ken Thompson

“The Analytical Engine has no pretensions whatever to originate anything. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform.”
Ada Lovelace

Max Tegmark
“We can think of life as a self-replicating information-processing system whose information (software) determines both its behavior and the blueprints for its hardware.”
Max Tegmark, Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

“We will start by sketching the recursive algorithm and then add details to get to a full description of the algorithm. Footnote : Translation: We will add details till the mess becomes both undecipherable and incomprehensible at the same time. Hopefully, the inner poetical and rhythmical beauty of the text will keep the reader going.”
Sariel Har-Peled, Geometric Approximation Algorithms

Max Tegmark
“Evolution optimizes strongly for energy efficiency because of limited food supply, not for ease of construction or understanding by human engineers.”
Max Tegmark

Alec J. Ross
“And they came to be included in a culture and community that placed the computer science engineer at the highest level of social status.”
Alec J. Ross, The Industries of the Future

Safiya Umoja Noble
“...artificial intelligence will become a major human rights issue in the twenty-first century.”
Safiya Umoja Noble, Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

“I wish to add my mite towards expounding & interpreting the Almighty, & his laws & works, for the most effective use of mankind; and certainly, I should feel it no small glory if I were enabled to be one of his most noted prophets (using this word in my own peculiar sense) in this world.”
Ada Lovelace, Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers: A Selection from the Letters of Lord Byron's Daughter and Her Description of the First Computer

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Most improved things can be improved.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

“If the brain had a native language we would be able to communicate with all humans without translation. Or even all other creatures on earth.”
Ghassan Labban

“No program can say what another will do.
Now, I won’t just assert that, I’ll prove it to you.
I will prove that although you might work till you drop,
You cannot tell if computation will stop.”
Geoffrey K. Pullum

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