- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; Enlarged, Enlarged and Updated Editon 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: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,322 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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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.
Dewdney is the greatest Canadian writer.
I was hoping for short, but complete, overview of a number of topics. Something I could share with my teenagers to try and spark an interest in computer science (given that when I was their age to use a computer you had no choice but to dive in and understand how the machine worked, so it was a giant puzzle which begged to be solved). However, to keep the subject count high and the page count within reason, it feels like some necessary detail was left out, making it much harder to fully grasp or appreciate the content of each chapter.
For example, Chapter 3 (Systems of Logic) starts off easily enough but quickly jumps off to complete bases, relying on the reader to fill in gaps that they may be unable to do without having more information available. Figure 3.1, "Structure of the complete bases" would benefit from more exposition. Certainly my 14 year old had trouble making sense of the diagram.
In rereading the author's introduction, it is clear that he does not intend this book to stand on its own. I feel, however, that it would be more useful for autodidacts to pull ten or so of the excursions and add more sites to the remainder.