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Publisher's Summary

This audiobook narrated by Quentin Cooper explains the tricks behind nine revolutionary algorithms that power our computers and smartphones

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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2011 John MacCormick (P)2020 Princeton University Press

Critic Reviews

"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)

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

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

"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

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Simple and Good

Would recommend to Beginners in CS or anyone who's interested in real life algorithms.

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  • C Vernon
  • 23-10-20

Audiobook is a poor format for this.

The concept is good, content well selected however it really doesn't work as an audiobook. Quentin Cooper does his best but it's difficult to get across the workings of the algorithms in speech.