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the Egyptian scripts is not a single event that occurred in 1822,’ he writes, but ‘a continuous process that is repeated at every reading of a text or artifact. Like any process of reading, it is a dialogue.’”


The Emperor's Codes: The breaking of Japan's Secret Ciphers. By Michael Smith. (Arcade,336 pp, 2000) GFBR **** Teen-Adult. More of a history book than a math book, it shows how important it was in World War 2 for the USA to break the Japanese codes. Gives some details on how it was done, which is good for those who want to try their hand at it!


In Code: A Mathematical Journey. By Sarah Flannery  (Workman, 341 pp, 2001) Teen-adult. "British best-seller by and about the 16-year-old who stunned the world by inventing a way of making public-key encryption much more efficient; an engaging, almost playful, book in which the reader is encouraged to spend lots of time working out mathematical puzzles.”



Advent of the Algorithm: The 300-Year Journey from an Idea to the Computer. By David Berlinski. (Harcourt, 416 pp, 2000) HS- Adult. “Francis Sullivan of the Institute for Defense Analysis said ‘Great algorithms are the poetry of computation’; David Berlinski calls the algorithm ‘the idea that rules the world.’ The Advent of the Algorithm is not so much a history of algorithms as a historical fantasia. Berlinski spins freely between semifictional accounts of historical figures, personal reminiscence, and mathematical proofs--without ever really defining an algorithm in so many words. This is not the book for those who were maddened by Berlinski's A Tour of the Calculus; his style remains quirky, digressive, self-referential, and dense: ‘And then, by some inscrutable incandescent insight, Leibniz came to see that what is crucial in what he had written is the alternation between God and Nothingness. And for this, the numbers 0 and 1 suffice.’ And: ‘Twinkies and Diet Coke in hand, computer programmers can now be observed pausing thoughtfully at their consoles.’ Berlinski's argument seems to be that algorithms--step-by-step procedures for getting answers--superceded logic, and will be superceded in turn by more biological, empirical, fuzzy methods. The structure of the book reflects this argument--sketches of people like Leibniz, Hilbert, Gödel, and Turing are interwoven with proofs and with characters of Berlinski's own invention. Berlinski's voice, closer to Hofstadter than to Knuth, remains unique. “


Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid..By Douglas Hofstadter. (Basic, 777pp, 1979/1999) GFBR *****. Advanced HS- Adult. "Twenty years after it topped the bestseller charts, Douglas R. Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid is still something of a marvel. Besides being a profound and entertaining meditation on  human thought and creativity, this book looks at the surprising points of contact between the music of Bach, the artwork of Escher, and the mathematics of Gödel. It also looks at the prospects for computers and artificial intelligence (AI) for mimicking human thought. For the general reader and the computer techie alike, this book still sets a standard for thinking about the future of computers and their relation to the way we think." One of the most brilliant books I have ever read!  


The Magic Machine: A Handbook of Computer Sorcery; More Programming Recreations from Scientific American Magazine. By A.K.Dewdney. (W.H. Freeman, 357 pp, 1990) GFBR ****. HS-Adult. If you want to learn how to write amazing programs on a computer or graphing calculator, this is an excellent place to start to find ideas.


The Pattern on the Stone—The Simple Ideas that Make Computers Work. By W. Daniel Hills. (Basic Books, 164 pp, 1998) HS-Adult. “Daniel Hillis has made a career of puzzling over

Science and Math Books You Can Read – page 13 out of 30

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