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the nature of information and the mechanisms that put information to use. Now, he's distilled his accumulated knowledge of computer science into The Pattern on the Stone, a glorious book that reveals the nature of logical machines simply and elegantly.Millions of times each second, to the drumbeat of a clock signal, electronic computers compare digital values. These comparisons, and the actions taken in response to them, are what computers are all about at their lowest levels, and, with the help of this book, they're not hard to comprehend. Moving on from the nature of logical circuits, the author deconstructs software and the mechanisms it employs to solve problems. Hillis then stands atop the building blocks he's arranged into a sturdy foundation and discusses the future of computing. Parallel processors already are in use, and neural networks with limited abilities to learn and adapt have proved quite good at certain jobs. Hillis explores the potential of both these technologies. Then, he throws some light on quantum computing and evolving systems--emerging ideas that promise to make computers much more powerful, and thereby change the world.”


Silicon Dreams. By Robert Lucky: (St. Martin’s Press, 1991) HS-Adult. “…a highly informed discussion of the new information age, … what information is, how it is generated, captured, stored, and communicated, and goes on to explain information theory, cryptology, speech synthesis and recognition, and much more. Charts, diagrams, photographs.”


Why Flip a Coin? The Art and Science of God Decisions. By H. W. Lewis (Wiley, 206 pp, 1997) GFBR ***. HS-Adult. “Drawing on a host of research findings and scores of examples – from how to win a war to how to win the office football pool – the author presents a host of brain-teasing problems and amusing scenarios that releal the clever ways to avoid the chaos and anxiety of decision dilemmas.”



Plate Tectonics: An Insider's History of the Modern Theory of the Earth. By Naomi Oreskes (Editor), Homer Le Grand (Contributor). (Westview, 424 pp, 2002) General audiences. “Widely dismissed as crank science in earlier generations, the theory of plate tectonics--which explains the movement of continents in geological time, as well as the formation of the earth's major features--is now largely accepted as fact within the scientific community. Drawing on the memories of major theoreticians in the field, scientist and historian Naomi Oreskes offers a vivid history of just how that transformation occurred. She describes the early quest on the part of James Dana, Alfred Wegner, J. H. Hodgson, and other scientists to account for the mechanics of earthquakes and certain puzzling features of geomorphology, a quest widened and strengthened by the work of deep-ocean explorers who were able, beginning in the 1960s, to study tectonics at work far below the surface of the world's waters. Such advances, as pioneer Peter Molnar and others explain, did not immediately change the way geologists went about their work, but they quickly went on to revolutionize science--and then, as such things do, to become orthodox. A useful reference for students of geology and the history of science, this book is also easily accessible to nonspecialists.”


Storm Watchers: The Turbulent History of Weather Prediction from Franklin’s Kite to El Niño. By John D. Cox. (Wiley, 252 pp, 2002) General audiences. Through profiles of 30 pioneers in the field, Cox unravels the history of meteorology before the advent of high-tech machines that make highly accurage prediction possible. Readers learn about Benjamin Franklin’s research on the Gulf Stream and the effects of volcanoes on atmospheric cooling and how expansion-minded government officials ignored John Finley’s 19-th century warnings about … the wrath of tornadoes in the U.S. frontier. In the process of telling these individual

Science and Math Books You Can Read – page 14 out of 30

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