Book picks similar to
A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computers and the Internet by Sara Baase
Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas
Seymour Papert - 1980
We have Mindstorms to thank for that. In this book, pioneering computer scientist Seymour Papert uses the invention of LOGO, the first child-friendly programming language, to make the case for the value of teaching children with computers. Papert argues that children are more than capable of mastering computers, and that teaching computational processes like de-bugging in the classroom can change the way we learn everything else. He also shows that schools saturated with technology can actually improve socialization and interaction among students and between students and teachers.
Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World
Clive Thompson - 2019
And this may sound weirdly obvious, but every single one of those pieces of software was written by a programmer. Programmers are thus among the most quietly influential people on the planet. As we live in a world made of software, they're the architects. The decisions they make guide our behavior. When they make something newly easy to do, we do a lot more of it. If they make it hard or impossible to do something, we do less of it.If we want to understand how today's world works, we ought to understand something about coders. Who exactly are the people that are building today's world? What makes them tick? What type of personality is drawn to writing software? And perhaps most interestingly -- what does it do to them?One of the first pieces of coding a newbie learns is the program to make the computer say "Hello, world!" Like that piece of code, Clive Thompson's book is a delightful place to begin to understand this vocation, which is both a profession and a way of life, and which essentially didn't exist little more than a generation ago, but now is considered just about the only safe bet we can make about what the future holds. Thompson takes us close to some of the great coders of our time, and unpacks the surprising history of the field, beginning with the first great coders, who were women. Ironically, if we're going to traffic in stereotypes, women are arguably "naturally" better at coding than men, but they were written out of the history, and shoved out of the seats, for reasons that are illuminating. Now programming is indeed, if not a pure brotopia, at least an awfully homogenous community, which attracts people from a very narrow band of backgrounds and personality types. As Thompson learns, the consequences of that are significant - not least being a fetish for disruption at scale that doesn't leave much time for pondering larger moral issues of collateral damage. At the same time, coding is a marvelous new art form that has improved the world in innumerable ways, and Thompson reckons deeply, as no one before him has, with what great coding in fact looks like, who creates it, and where they come from. To get as close to his subject has he can, he picks up the thread of his own long-abandoned coding practice, and tries his mightiest to up his game, with some surprising results.More and more, any serious engagement with the world demands an engagement with code and its consequences, and to understand code, we must understand coders. In that regard, Clive Thompson's Hello, World! is a marvelous and delightful master class.
Introduction to Algorithms
Thomas H. Cormen - 1989
Each chapter is relatively self-contained and can be used as a unit of study. The algorithms are described in English and in a pseudocode designed to be readable by anyone who has done a little programming. The explanations have been kept elementary without sacrificing depth of coverage or mathematical rigor.
Effective C++: 55 Specific Ways to Improve Your Programs and Designs
Scott Meyers - 1991
But the state-of-the-art has moved forward dramatically since Meyers last updated this book in 1997. (For instance, there s now STL. Design patterns. Even new functionality being added through TR1 and Boost.) So Meyers has done a top-to-bottom rewrite, identifying the 55 most valuable techniques you need now to be exceptionally effective with C++. Over half of this edition s content is new. Templates broadly impact C++ development, and you ll find them everywhere. There s extensive coverage of multithreaded systems. There s an entirely new chapter on resource management. You ll find substantial new coverage of exceptions. Much is gained, but nothing s lost: You ll find the same depth of practical insight that first made Effective C++ a classic all those years ago. Bill Camarda, from the July 2005 href="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/newslet... Only
Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach
Stuart Russell - 1994
The long-anticipated revision of this best-selling text offers the most comprehensive, up-to-date introduction to the theory and practice of artificial intelligence. *NEW-Nontechnical learning material-Accompanies each part of the book. *NEW-The Internet as a sample application for intelligent systems-Added in several places including logical agents, planning, and natural language. *NEW-Increased coverage of material - Includes expanded coverage of: default reasoning and truth maintenance systems, including multi-agent/distributed AI and game theory; probabilistic approaches to learning including EM; more detailed descriptions of probabilistic inference algorithms. *NEW-Updated and expanded exercises-75% of the exercises are revised, with 100 new exercises. *NEW-On-line Java software. *Makes it easy for students to do projects on the web using intelligent agents. *A unified, agent-based approach to AI-Organizes the material around the task of building intelligent agents. *Comprehensive, up-to-date coverage-Includes a unified view of the field organized around the rational decision making pa
The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive
Brian Christian - 2011
Its starting point is the annual Turing Test, which pits artificial intelligence programs against people to determine if computers can “think.”Named for computer pioneer Alan Turing, the Turing Test convenes a panel of judges who pose questions—ranging anywhere from celebrity gossip to moral conundrums—to hidden contestants in an attempt to discern which is human and which is a computer. The machine that most often fools the panel wins the Most Human Computer Award. But there is also a prize, bizarre and intriguing, for the Most Human Human.In 2008, the top AI program came short of passing the Turing Test by just one astonishing vote. In 2009, Brian Christian was chosen to participate, and he set out to make sure Homo sapiens would prevail.The author’s quest to be deemed more human than a computer opens a window onto our own nature. Interweaving modern phenomena like customer service “chatbots” and men using programmed dialogue to pick up women in bars with insights from fields as diverse as chess, psychiatry, and the law, Brian Christian examines the philosophical, biological, and moral issues raised by the Turing Test.One central definition of human has been “a being that could reason.” If computers can reason, what does that mean for the special place we reserve for humanity?
HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites
Jon Duckett - 2011
Joining the professional web designers and programmers are new audiences who need to know a little bit of code at work (update a content management system or e-commerce store) and those who want to make their personal blogs more attractive. Many books teaching HTML and CSS are dry and only written for those who want to become programmers, which is why this book takes an entirely new approach. • Introduces HTML and CSS in a way that makes them accessible to everyone—hobbyists, students, and professionals—and it’s full-color throughout • Utilizes information graphics and lifestyle photography to explain the topics in a simple way that is engaging • Boasts a unique structure that allows you to progress through the chapters from beginning to end or just dip into topics of particular interest at your leisureThis educational book is one that you will enjoy picking up, reading, then referring back to. It will make you wish other technical topics were presented in such a simple, attractive and engaging way!
Introduction to the Theory of Computation
Michael Sipser - 1996
Sipser's candid, crystal-clear style allows students at every level to understand and enjoy this field. His innovative "proof idea" sections explain profound concepts in plain English. The new edition incorporates many improvements students and professors have suggested over the years, and offers updated, classroom-tested problem sets at the end of each chapter.
The C Programming Language
Brian W. Kernighan - 1978
It is the definitive reference guide, now in a second edition. Although the first edition was written in 1978, it continues to be a worldwide best-seller. This second edition brings the classic original up to date to include the ANSI standard. From the Preface: We have tried to retain the brevity of the first edition. C is not a big language, and it is not well served by a big book. We have improved the exposition of critical features, such as pointers, that are central to C programming. We have refined the original examples, and have added new examples in several chapters. For instance, the treatment of complicated declarations is augmented by programs that convert declarations into words and vice versa. As before, all examples have been tested directly from the text, which is in machine-readable form. As we said in the first preface to the first edition, C "wears well as one's experience with it grows." With a decade more experience, we still feel that way. We hope that this book will help you to learn C and use it well.
Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life
Annette Lareau - 2003
Drawing on in-depth observations of black and white middle-class, working-class, and poor families, Unequal Childhoods explores this fact, offering a picture of childhood today. Here are the frenetic families managing their children's hectic schedules of "leisure" activities; and here are families with plenty of time but little economic security. Lareau shows how middle-class parents, whether black or white, engage in a process of "concerted cultivation" designed to draw out children's talents and skills, while working-class and poor families rely on "the accomplishment of natural growth," in which a child's development unfolds spontaneously—as long as basic comfort, food, and shelter are provided. Each of these approaches to childrearing brings its own benefits and its own drawbacks. In identifying and analyzing differences between the two, Lareau demonstrates the power, and limits, of social class in shaping the lives of America's children.The first edition of Unequal Childhoods was an instant classic, portraying in riveting detail the unexpected ways in which social class influences parenting in white and African-American families. A decade later, Annette Lareau has revisited the same families and interviewed the original subjects to examine the impact of social class in the transition to adulthood.
Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms
Hannah Fry - 2018
It’s time we stand face-to-digital-face with the true powers and limitations of the algorithms that already automate important decisions in healthcare, transportation, crime, and commerce. Hello World is indispensable preparation for the moral quandaries of a world run by code, and with the unfailingly entertaining Hannah Fry as our guide, we’ll be discussing these issues long after the last page is turned.
Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man
Marshall McLuhan - 1964
Terms and phrases such as "the global village" and "the medium is the message" are now part of the lexicon, and McLuhan's theories continue to challenge our sensibilities and our assumptions about how and what we communicate.There has been a notable resurgence of interest in McLuhan's work in the last few years, fueled by the recent and continuing conjunctions between the cable companies and the regional phone companies, the appearance of magazines such as WiRed, and the development of new media models and information ecologies, many of which were spawned from MIT's Media Lab. In effect, media now begs to be redefined. In a new introduction to this edition of Understanding Media, Harper's editor Lewis Lapham reevaluates McLuhan's work in the light of the technological as well as the political and social changes that have occurred in the last part of this century.
The Sociology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained
Sam Atkinson - 2015
The Sociology Book takes on some of humankind's biggest questions: What is society? What makes it tick? Why do we interact in the way that we do with our friends, coworkers, and rivals? The Sociology Book profiles the world's most renowned sociologists and more than 100 of their biggest ideas, including issues of equality, diversity, identity, and human rights; the effects of globalization; the role of institutions; and the rise of urban living in modern societyEasy to navigate and chock-full of key concepts, profiles of major sociological thinkers, and conversation starters galore, this is a must-have, in-a-nutshell guide to some of the most fascinating questions on earth.The Sociology Book is part of the award-winning Big Ideas Simply Explained series, designed to distill big ideas and elusive theories into graspable, memorable concepts, using an approachable graphic treatment and creative typography.
Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World
Bruce Schneier - 2000
Identity Theft. Corporate Espionage. National secrets compromised. Can anyone promise security in our digital world?The man who introduced cryptography to the boardroom says no. But in this fascinating read, he shows us how to come closer by developing security measures in terms of context, tools, and strategy. Security is a process, not a product – one that system administrators and corporate executives alike must understand to survive.This edition updated with new information about post-9/11 security.
It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
Danah Boyd - 2014
. . It’s Complicated will update your mind.”—Alissa Quart, New York Times Book Review “A fascinating, well-researched and (mostly) reassuring look at how today's tech-savvy teenagers are using social media.”—People “The briefest possible summary? The kids are all right, but society isn’t.”—Andrew Leonard, Salon What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens’ lives? In this eye-opening book, youth culture and technology expert danah boyd uncovers some of the major myths regarding teens' use of social media. She explores tropes about identity, privacy, safety, danger, and bullying. Ultimately, boyd argues that society fails young people when paternalism and protectionism hinder teenagers’ ability to become informed, thoughtful, and engaged citizens through their online interactions. Yet despite an environment of rampant fear-mongering, boyd finds that teens often find ways to engage and to develop a sense of identity. Boyd’s conclusions are essential reading not only for parents, teachers, and others who work with teens but also for anyone interested in the impact of emerging technologies on society, culture, and commerce in years to come. Offering insights gleaned from more than a decade of original fieldwork interviewing teenagers across the United States, boyd concludes reassuringly that the kids are all right. At the same time, she acknowledges that coming to terms with life in a networked era is not easy or obvious. In a technologically mediated world, life is bound to be complicated.