Computers Ltd: What They REALLY Can't Do

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9780198505556: Computers Ltd: What They REALLY Can't Do
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Advance praise for Computers Ltd. 'An enlightening and entertaining explanation, written by a profound computer scientist and master expositor. A must read for inquisitive minds.' Michael Rabin, Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University. Computers are incredible. They are one of the most important inventions of the 20th century, dramatically and irrevocably changing the way we live. That is the good news. The bad news is that there are still major limitations to computers, serious problems that not even the biggest, most powerful computers can solve. The consequences of such limitations can be serious. Too often these limits get overlooked, in the quest for bigger, better, and more powerful computers. In Computers Ltd, David Harel, best-selling author of Algorithmics, explains and illustrates one of the most fundamental, yet under-exposed facets of computers - their inherent limitations. Looking at the bad news that is proven, lasting, and robust, discussing limitations that no amounts of hardware, software, talents or resources can overcome, the book presents a disturbing and provocative view of computing at the start of the 21st century. Along the way he shows just how far from perfect computers are, while shattering some of the many claims made for these machines. Though we may strive for bigger and better things in computing, we need to be realistic: computers are not omnipotent - far from it. Moreover, the problem is real and is here to stay. From reviews of Algorithmics: 'This book is a veritable tour de force. Harel writes with uncommon verve, clarity, and imagination...This is science writing at its best.' Times Higher Education Supplement 'This is the book I would most like to have written.' Professor Darrell Ince, Open University

Über den Autor:

David Harel is William Sussman Professor of Mathematics at The Weizmann Institute of Science, in Israel. One of the world's leading computer scientists, he is the author of the critically acclaimed Algorithmics, which has sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide.

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