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Please Explain: Algorithms

Friday, June 25, 2010

Algorithms are used to solve problems. They’re used in math, computer programming, and on Wall Street, but we also use algorithms to tie our shoes or to bake a loaf of bread. On this week’s Please Explain, Daniel Bienstock, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, at Columbia University, and Harry Lewis, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at Harvard, tell us what algorithms are and how they work to solve problems both simple and complex. Harry Lewis is the author of Blown to Bits and Excellence without a Soul: Does Liberal Education Have a Future.

Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion

Guests:

Daniel Bienstock and Harry Lewis

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Comments [7]

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Apr. 02 2012 06:17 AM
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Apr. 01 2012 01:26 PM
Mike

What was the first Algorithm patent with the US?

Jun. 25 2010 01:49 PM
tom from qns

Do artists unknowingly use algorithms when the represent objects in space?

Jun. 25 2010 01:47 PM
cynie from mnhtn

I've seen a TV show that wanted to "bump down" an unfavored page's ranking (it was a hostile blog on the web) in a matter of days. The blog was bumped down in ranking on google - the TV show must've used those illegal 'malwares' that clicks on websites instead of the user to improve/hurt page ranking.

Jun. 25 2010 01:44 PM
Sainted_Mother from Harlem, NY

The NYC Subway signs use an algorithm to find all the train letters / numbers in the text, so that a human doesn't have to do it. With this, I reduced the sign layout time from 2 days to 2 hours.

(am on vacation today, going to a tech conference in DC tomorrow)

Jun. 25 2010 01:38 PM
Pavel Gurvich

Little correction: Al Horesmi lived in Usbekistan not in Bagdad.

Jun. 25 2010 01:35 PM

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