10 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Asimov Story on Computation

■ N 1958, American science fiction legend Isaac Asimov wrote a very short story called "The Feeling of Power." In it, lowly technician MyI ron Aub discovers that he is capable of duplicating the work of his computer by multiplying two numbers together on a piece of paper. Amazing! This miraculous discovery makes its way up the chain of command, where the generals and politicians are stunned by Aub's black magic. The top general is intrigued by the possibility that human calculations could g...
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02 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Chess is the Drosophila of Reasoning

Much as the Drosophila melanogaster fruit fly became a model organism for geneticists, chess became a Drosophila of reasoning. In the late 19th century, Alfred Binet hoped that understanding why certain people excelled at chess would unlock secrets of human thought. Sixty years later, Alan Turing wondered if a chess-playing machine might illuminate, in the words of Norbert Wiener, “whether this sort of ability represents an essential difference between the potentialities of the machine and ...
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04 NOV 2018 by ideonexus

 A Computer Algorithm for Randomization

Back in the early days of computers, one of the more popular methods of generating a sequence of random numbers was to employ the following scheme: 1. Choose a starting number between 0 and 1. 2. Multiply the starting number by 4 ("stretch" it). Subtract 4 times the square of the starting number from the quantity obtained in step 2 ("fold" the interval back on itself in order to keep the final result in the same range). 3.Given a starting number between 0 and 1, we can use the proce-dure...
Folksonomies: algorithms randomization
Folksonomies: algorithms randomization
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From John Casti.

31 OCT 2018 by ideonexus

 Bumper Sticker Computer Science

A few of my favorites, not found in the linked article: "There are two ways of constructing software. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. The other is to make it so complex that there are no obvious deficiencies." C.A.R. Hoare "The purpose of software engineering is to control complexity, not to create it." Dr. Pamela Zave "The most important single aspect of software development is to be clear about what you are trying to build." Bjarne Stroustrup "T...
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13 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 Why We Can't Have "Intuitive" Programming Languages

If a procedure named INSIGHT has been defined and then called seventeen times in the program, and the eighteenth time it is misspelled as INSIHGT, woe to the programmer. The compiler will balk and print a rigidly unsympathetic error message, saying that it has never heard of INSIHGT. Often, when such an error is detected by a compiler, the compiler tries to continue, but because of its lack of insihgt, it has not understood what the programmer meant. In fact, it may very well suppose that som...
Folksonomies: programming intuition
Folksonomies: programming intuition
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12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 Level Two Chaos

Level two chaos is chaos that reacts to predictions about it, and therefore can never be predicted accurately. Markets, for example, are a level two chaotic system. What will happen if we develop a computer program that forecasts with 100 per cent accuracy the price of oil tomorrow? The price of oil will immediately react to the forecast, which would consequently fail to materialise. If the current price of oil is $90 a barrel, and the infallible computer program predicts that tomorrow it wil...
Folksonomies: chaos probability
Folksonomies: chaos probability
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22 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Algorithms are Subjective/Creative Things

he algorithm may be the essence of computer science – but it’s not precisely a scientific concept. An algorithm is a system, like plumbing or a military chain of command. It takes knowhow, calculation and creativity to make a system work properly. But some systems, like some armies, are much more reliable than others. A system is a human artefact, not a mathematical truism. The origins of the algorithm are unmistakably human, but human fallibility isn’t a quality that we associate with ...
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22 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Outsourcing our Thinking to Algorithms and Those Who Engi...

...even as an algorithm mindlessly implements its procedures – and even as it learns to see new patterns in the data – it reflects the minds of its creators, the motives of its trainers. Amazon and Netflix use algorithms to make recommendations about books and films. (One-third of purchases on Amazon come from these recommendations.) These algorithms seek to understand our tastes, and the tastes of like-minded consumers of culture. Yet the algorithms make fundamentally different recommend...
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11 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 pplapi.com

pplapi.com (pronounced “people API”) is a web-based data service that provides access to a synthetic world population, n = 7, 171, 922, 938. Researchers can submit queries to pplapi.com using its Application Programming Interface (API) to obtain samples consisting of synthetic agents drawn from this population. Because researchers do not need to host the synthetic population themselves, pplapi.com reduces start-up costs associated with using synthetic agents in research. pplapi.com provid...
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