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The CS Detective: An Algorithmic Tale - curious about usage in other areas of life

 
Salil Wadnerkar
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I always found Algorithms to be dry and boring. Weaving the Algorithm topics in stories is an interesting experiment and I look forward to reading the book.
Do you have interesting anecdotes about how you use CS principals in daily life? I find myself not thinking of algorithms, unless I am programming. Maybe just like statistics and economics, computation is generic enough to improve understanding of events around us.
 
Jeremy Kubica
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I can't say that I often find myself formally running through algorithms in my day to day life (although admittedly sometimes I do). What constantly surprised me though is how often I find myself adapting the core of an algorithm, the intuition behind it, to a real world situation. Probably the best example of this is in sorting. I have actually found myself switching from something like an insertion sort to a merge sort when dealing with a large number of items (e.g. cards for some board game). The same thing occasionally happens in searches. For example, when researching a topic I might unconsciously frame the research as a depth-limited depth first search to keep my from going too deep down a dead end. It's usually only afterward that I realize the connection.

One of the things I really wanted to capture in this book are these day-to-day adaptations of the concepts. How learning the intuition behind recursion can help you frame problems differently, even if you are not recalling and applying a formal algorithm.
 
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