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Intriguing title, for serious readers?  RSS feed

 
satya sundar
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Hello Author,

" The CS Detective: An Algorithmic Tale of Crime, Conspiracy, and Computation "
Seriously for me this is such an intriguing title,My best wishes.

Is it for serious readers who are trying to attack performance issues :-)
What is the best way to read your book?



 
Jeremy Kubica
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The CS Detective is an introductory book. It is aimed at introducing algorithms (at a very high level) to people without a lot of computer science experience.  So, in that respect, I don't think this is a book for people trying to tackle serious performance issues.

That being said, I hope that it does provide an amusing and enjoyable read for serious developers as well.  While none of the algorithms might be new, the book is full of odd examples of common search algorithms that provide new ways of looking them.  For example, the main character Frank has to face a weaponized version of binary search trees. Suddenly the choice of which branch to take during a search has much more profound consequences than just poor running time.
 
satya sundar
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Interesting !Its a novel way of conveying some serious stuff!!

What inspired you to come up with such an idea ?i dont remember if ever read any serious topic being discussed
in this fashion ,Did you have some prior experience writing in this style

This is a novelty on the lines of Head First Series.
 
Jeremy Kubica
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There were a few inspirations for this approach, including the music of They Might Be Giants and Tom Lehrer.  In particular There Are No Electrons by Kenn Amdahl was a major inspiration in terms showing of how complex technical subjects could be explained through amusing stories.  The book explains the details of electronics as though little green men are running through the wires.

As for my own writing, I started writing short stories in my high school chemistry class and giving them to other students.  They were fables that tried to explain concepts such as bonds, orbitals, etc.  The other students liked them and even requested the occasional story for specific concepts.  Years later I started writing these stories for computer science, putting them on the Computational Fairy Tales blog (http://computationaltales.blogspot.com).  Eventually I compiled these into books: Computational Fairy Tales and Best Practices of Spell Design.  The CS Detective is an evolution of this work, starting with a specific set of concepts (search algorithms) and a single overall story.
 
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