Cover art for Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future
Princeton University Press, November 2020
Softcover, 232 pages
21.6cm × 14cm

Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future The Ingenious IdeasThat Drive Today's Computers

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Every day, we use our computers to perform remarkable feats. A simple web search picks out a handful of relevant needles from the world's biggest haystack. Uploading a photo to Facebook transmits millions of pieces of information over numerous error-prone network links, yet somehow a perfect copy of the photo arrives intact.

Without even knowing it, we use public-key cryptography to transmit secret information like credit card numbers, and we use digital signatures to verify the identity of the websites we visit. How do our computers perform these tasks with such ease?

John MacCormick answers this question in language anyone can understand, using vivid examples to explain the fundamental tricks behind nine computer algorithms that power our PCs, tablets, and smartphones.

'A great way to find out what computer science is really about...MacCormick provides a taste of why we computer scientists get so excited about algorithms.' - Paul Curzon, Science

'Excellent...This is an unusually well-written text suitable for anyone with an interest in how today's information systems really work.' - John Gilbey, Times Higher Education

'MacCormick leaves the reader with a sense of the engine that powers the networked world.' - Kevin Slavin, New Scientist

'There's likely no better account of the software that underpins everything from Amazon to Facebook.' - Brett Szmajda, Cosmos

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