## The Advent of the Algorithm: The 300-Year Journey from an Idea to the ComputerSimply put, an algorithm is a set of instructions-it's the code that makes computers run. A basic idea that proved elusive for hundreds of years and bent the minds of the greatest thinkers in the world, the algorithm is what made the modern world possible. Without the algorithm, there would have been no computer, no Internet, no virtual reality, no e-mail, or any other technological advance that we rely on every day. In The Advent of the Algorithm, David Berlinski combines science, history, and math to explain and explore the intriguing story of how the algorithm was finally discovered by a succession of mathematicians and logicians, and how this paved the way for the digital age. Beginning with Leibniz and culminating in the middle of the twentieth century with the groundbreaking work of G del and Turing, The Advent of the Algorithm is an epic tale told with clarity and imaginative brilliance. |

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#### LibraryThing Review

User Review - encephalical - LibraryThingHorrible prose. Long digressions and vignettes where the author tries to get some point about algorithms or meta-algorithmic thinking across through truly unfortunate unrequited-love stories. Yes, as ... Read full review

#### LibraryThing Review

User Review - kevinashley - LibraryThingBerlinksi's premise with this book seems to be to explain the idea of what an algorithm is and the history of the discovery and application of algorithms. At least I think it is. The author's prose ... Read full review

### Contents

The Marketplace of Schemes | 1 |

Under the Eye of Doubt | 21 |

Bruno the Fastidious | 46 |

Cargoload and CrackUp | 64 |

Hilbert Takes Command | 96 |

Gödel in Vienna | 116 |

The Dangerous Discipline | 146 |

Flight into Abstraction | 155 |

The Peacock of Reason | 205 |

Time Against Time | 215 |

An Artifact of Mind | 249 |

A World of Many Gods | 275 |

The Cross of Words | 306 |

EPILOGUE The Idea of Order at Key West | 332 |

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS | 335 |

337 | |

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### Common terms and phrases

algorithm appear argument arithmetic asked axioms calculus called cardinal century Check Church cities complexity concept continued course definition dogs doubt dream entirely equation example explain expressed eyes face fact fall finite follows formal formula function give given Gödel hand head human idea imagination inference infinite intelligence language laws Leibniz letters light lines living logic logician look machine mathematical mathematicians matter means mechanical mind moving nature night objects once operations ordinary organization paths Peano physicists physics play possible precisely predicate primitive problem proof propositional question reason recursive remains represents revealed rules scheme seems sense serve simple solution space specified standing steps suggest symbols theorem theory things thought tion true truth Turing turn universe variable various