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D. W. Casey (Sturbridge, MA United States)
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Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem
Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem
von Simon Singh
  Gebundene Ausgabe

5.0 von 5 Sternen An elegant, accessible, fascinating little book, 1. August 1998
Simon Singh's Fermat's Enigma is a very elegant book that accomplishes several difficult tasks: it acts as a brief history of number theory, explains the culture of the world of mathematicians, and acts as a window looking into the personal struggle of Andrew Wiles as he spends seven years attempting to solve a 350 year old riddle. This book is very accessible for non-mathematicians, and is the type of book that can inspire a young person who is mathematically inclined to become a mathematician -- similar to how Andrew Wiles himself became a mathematician. I particularly liked the portraits of the famous mathematicians who contributed to the proof over the period of time involved: Euler, Galois, Taniyama, Shimura, etc. The book is very nicely written; one never finds the book to be jarring or difficult to read. In its small format it is over 300 pages long, but it reads very quickly (less than 5 hours for me). The appendices contain some very elegant, simple explanat! ions of mathematical proofs. The manner in which the subject is made accessible is a testimony to the author's literary as well as technical skill -- something this easy to read must have been exceptionally difficult to write. Well worth reading, very high on my personal list.


Engines of the Mind: The Evolution of the Computer from Mainframes to Microprocessors
Engines of the Mind: The Evolution of the Computer from Mainframes to Microprocessors
von Joel N. Shurkin
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 17,10

5.0 von 5 Sternen An excellent book on the history of early computers, 13. Juli 1998
I have read over 50 books on the subject of computers in the last year (I am a computer trainer), and the book I put at the very top of this list is Joel Shurkin's Engines of the Mind. The book is a look at the early development of computers, and contains particularly fascinating portraits of Charles Babbage, Herman Hollerith, Eckert and Mauchly, and John von Neumann. It is an excellent history of computers from Babbage to the 1960s; my understanding is that it was not the author's intent to address PCs in the book. I usually recommend this book to people along with Robert Cringeley's Accidental Empires -- Shurkin's book as the "pre-PC" book, and Cringeley's as the "post-PC" book. Shurkin's book is extremely well written, and well worth reading.


Great Mambo Chicken And The Transhuman Condition: Science Slightly Over The Edge
Great Mambo Chicken And The Transhuman Condition: Science Slightly Over The Edge
von Ed Regis
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 10,99

4.0 von 5 Sternen Very amusing look at outrageous science, 13. Juli 1998
This is a highly entertaining look at the far edges of science: cryonics, living in space, nanotechnology, low cost rocketry, etc. Regis is a very gifted, very funny writer, and the whole book is told in a tongue-in-cheek style that makes it well worth reading. If you've got a teenage son, daughter, niece, or nephew that has a scientific bent, this is a very fun book to share with them -- the characters in it demonstrate a passion for science that is almost childlike in its sense of wonder. But DON"T TRY THIS AT HOME . . .


Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity (Helix Books)
Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity (Helix Books)
von Holland
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 11,90

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Superb book about evolution and computers, 9. Mai 1998
John Holland's work "Hidden Order" is a treatise from the creator of the genetic algorithm on "Complex Adaptive Systems" or CAS. Holland explains in easy to understand language the concept of CAS, how one goes about designing them, and how one can use them to make observations about the universe. Holland is not well known to the general public, but his work in this field is ground breaking and of great importance, and carries on the tradition of logicians such as John von Neumann and Alan Turing. I would advise reading this book before moving on to his later work, "Emergence," as this gives one a sound basis in Holland's thought, and "Emergence" is a slightly more difficult read. A wonderful book.


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