- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; Reprint edition (July 15, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805071660
- ISBN-13: 978-0805071665
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The New Turing Omnibus: Sixty-Six Excursions in Computer Science Paperback – July 15, 1993
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“Wonderfully concise discussions . . . full of wit . . . It is nearly the perfect book for the noncomputer scientists who want to learn something about the field.” ―Nature
“Recommended as a general topics source for anyone interested in computer science. Dewdney's use of unusual and practical examples and illustrations to explain the material makes his very readable prose even better.” ―Choice
“A useful book of worthwhile diversions.” ―Computer Books Review
About the Author
A. K. Dewdney teaches computer science at the University of Western Ontario.
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Top customer reviews
Really love this book, highly recommended. Some essays are easy and can be casually cruised through in 5 minutes, others are very tech heavy and you'll need external research books to be able to get through the barely explained equations (esp. Art of Computer Programming), but they are all very interesting to learn about.
The 66 excursions cover a lot of ground, but often return to Turing machines, finite-state machines, and NP-completeness problems. I might have enjoyed more on algorithm analysis, computer languages, and game analysis. Additionally there are new topics since this 1992 publication, such as quantum computing, Bioinformatics, Internet related topics on virus and encrypting, and a raft of social questions including privacy. I hope the "Turing omnibus" refuels for another update.
The chapters are ordered haphazardly. For example, it introduces the concept of minimal complete basis before showing Boolean logic, so if you don't already know about Boolean logic, you will not really see the purpose of a complete basis.
Often the topics are not properly motivated. The worst example is the chapter on Fast Fourier Transform. It gives only the vaguest idea of what a Fourier transform is before jumping into a bunch of equations showing how a computer can calculate it. You will be left wondering why it matters. (It says that the Fourier transform is used for data and image processing, but it never actually explains what it is or how people use it. If I hadn't already known about the FT I would be under the impression that it is just some obscure equations, when it is in fact a very useful way of finding patterns in data).
It's not a bad book--I enjoyed several of the chapters. It's just not good for anything. If you've already studied computer science, you know at least 90% of what's in the book. If you haven't studied CS, you won't be able to keep up with its fast pace and tedious examples.
Most recent customer reviews
Dewdney is the greatest Canadian writer.