9 Algorithms That Changed the Future

How did I feel reading this book huh, in a word, interested. Compared to the past assigned books I found it overall more interesting yet like the ones before there were a few boring things hat were difficult to get through without being distracted. For me personally I found the first and fourth chapters taxing to wade through. The first chapter felt like a slow drawl that was try its best to get you hyped for the next act, not through lack of effort mind you. The fourth chapter, on the other hand, was simply a topic I found uninteresting, so I can’t give much of a judgment on it. Who am I to judge something I took no interest In, in the first place. I remain neutral on the benefits of the Public-Key Cryptography chapter. However, I do have to note that of all chapters I found this one the most difficult to grasp. The example used to describe the encryption method for one was simply not suitable for me to grasp. The chapter began to lose me around page 43, where it started on “mix one part of sky blue”. It continued its explanation till page 51. If I hadn’t heard the explanation in class before I would have been at a total loss. The rest of the novel kept my interest through out though. Not to the point I was excited to read the next chapter, page, or word, but interested enough to not want to stop once I had gotten into a role with it. The most interesting thing I learned from this novel, 9 Algorithms That Changed the Future, by John MacCormick, was from chapter 3, PageRank: The Technology That Launched Google. I found the information on the Hyperlink trick from page 25, the Authority trick from page 27, and the Random Surfer trick from page 29-34 were interesting as I’ve been, a fan I guess the word would be, of Google’s for some time. Finding out how they started, and where their success came from in the beginning was engaging to say the least. My favorite quote from the whole book would be from page 36-37, “Despite the many complexities of modern search engines, the beautiful idea at the heart of PageRank-that authoritative pages can confer authority on other pages via hyperlinks-remains valid. It was this idea that helped Google to dethrone AltaVista, transforming Google from small startup to king of search in a few heady years.” If we look at what I didn’t understand going into this book compared to what I know after it would be a embarrassing amount, that’s why I’m glad the book was easy to understand and written well enough to explain things to a beginner such as myself. There were a few main terms I didn’t know going in but was well informed after, the only words I didn’t know were a few uncommon descriptive ones such as “heady from page 37. I learned that heady meant “having a strong or exhilarating effect”. It was used to describe Google’s first few starting years, and I laughed when I saw the definition, I can totally imagine the rise and falls they would’ve had before taking the summit. All together I can’t say this book left me with any unanswered questions, simply curiosity of what else I might not know yet and what other advances we’ve made. I think this is a magnificent feeling to be left with after reading a novel for teaching purposes, first I’ve ever felt like this, so I’m a bit excited. I would recommend this book to anyone, a surprising result for myself. I found it intriguing enough for that, as its more than simple jargon only a student of the subject would understand. I also think it was chosen as a teaching novel, as it covers exactly the intros to what we’ve been learning in class with an in depth and mostly easy to understand explanation, with far more than we could have spent time on in class to study.

 

 

 

 

 

MACCORMICK, J.

Nine algorithms that changed the future

 “mix one pot of sky blue”

In-text: (MacCormick, 2012)

Your Bibliography: MacCormick, J. (2012). Nine algorithms that changed the future. Princeton: Princeton University Press, p.43.

 

MACCORMICK, J.

Nine algorithms that changed the future

 “Despite the many complexities of modern search engines, the beautiful idea at the heart of PageRank-that authoritative pages can confer authority on other pages via hyperlinks-remains valid. It was this idea that helped Google to dethrone AltaVista, transforming Google from small startup to king of search in a few heady years.”

In-text: (MacCormick, 2012)

Your Bibliography: MacCormick, J. (2012). Nine algorithms that changed the future. Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp.36-37.

 

 

DEFINITION OF HEADY

In-text: (Merriam-webster.com, 2018)

Your Bibliography: Merriam-webster.com. (2018). Definition of HEADY. [online] Available at: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heady [Accessed 5 May 2018].

 

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Tubes, A journey to the Center of the Internet.

A Review of the national Best Seller “Tubes A journey to the Center of the Internet”, by Andrew Blum. While reading this book I can’t pin down exactly what I was feeling at the time as I had varying opinions throughout. Through out most of the book I was Bored I admit. The history of the internet and its place in the physical world over the virtual world did have my hopes high though, and in some cases I wasn’t disappointed, but overall, it was varying degrees of “meh”. It’s not like I ever hated reading it, but neither was it a joy to look forward to. If I had to choose a favorite thing I learned over the course of this read, it would probably be Google’s purchase of the “111 Eighth Avenue in Manhattan for 1.9 Billion” in December of 2010. I found it interesting how Google took the initiative took take control of the Fiber Highway, and I got a real kick out of the American Airlines comparison. The parts of the book I diidn’y like is a hard question to answer however. I didn’t particularly not like any part of it, just found much of It non-entertaining. If I was forced to choose I would say the first chapter, The Map, was the most difficult to get through. It really had nothing that grabbed my attention, merely led me along to something a bit more interesting in the following chapters. In fact, most of the beginning chapters held little appeal to me, the first simply being the worst. In comparison, the later chapters held my interest far better, another example of such would be in Chapter 6, “The Longest Tubes”, where the author discussed the cable wrapping around the world.” Tata had extended its cable between the United States and Japan with a new link to Singapore and then onward to Chennai. Then from Mumbai another Tata cable passed though the Suez to Marseille. From there the routes went overland to London, and finally connected to the original transatlantic cable that connected Bristol, England, to New Jersey.” It amazed me such a cable existed in length and beneath the sea, as I had no idea such a thing was possible. There weren’t particularly any term’s or concepts that I needed to google in any way throughout the book, as things were reasonably well explained, or I had already known the terms. However, Tata Communications is one company I had to look up, not out of lack of information, but out of curiosity for a company that connected the internet across the globe beneath the sea’s. What I found was “Over the past decade, Tata Communications has evolved from a wholesale service provider serving the Indian market to a leading provider of A New World of Communications™ to enterprise customers and service providers worldwide.” I found this journey and the company’s accomplishment fascinating and am keen to research the company more in the future. Overall this book, while for the large part not entertaining, did inform me about the physical side of the internet, of which I was largely ignorant till now. The book didn’t eave me with any unanswered questions to speak of but didn’t generate new questions for me either. I sadly would not recommend this book to someone looking to learn more about the internet. Someone like that is likely to be looking for more info on the virtual side than the physical so this book would not be my first choice. However, on the flip side, I can’t think of a better suggestion for someone looking to learn more of the history of how the internet works physically connecting the world. The significant part of this book is it deals with the physical construction of the internet, and the history of how it was done. I believe that history, and physical aspect that we’ve largely ignored in class was why it was chosen as a textbook this year.

 

 

BLUM, A.

Tubes

 111 Eighth Avenue in Manhattan for 1.9 Billion

In-text: (Blum, 2014)

Your Bibliography: Blum, A. (2014). Tubes. [Place of publication not identified]: HarperCollins, p.163.

 

BLUM, A.

Tubes

 Tata had extended its cable between the United States and Japan with a new link to Singapore and then onward to Chennai. Then from Mumbai another Tata cable passed though the Suez to Marseille. From there the routes went overland to London, and finally connected to the original transatlantic cable that connected Bristol, England, to New Jersey.

In-text: (Blum, 2014)

Your Bibliography: Blum, A. (2014). Tubes. [Place of publication not identified]: HarperCollins, pp.196-197.

 

ABOUT US | TATA COMMUNICATIONS

 Over the past decade, Tata Communications has evolved from a wholesale service provider serving the Indian market to a leading provider of A New World of Communications™ to enterprise customers and service providers worldwide.

In-text: (Tata Communications, 2018)

Your Bibliography: Tata Communications. (2018). About Us | Tata Communications. [online] Available at: https://www.tatacommunications.com/about/ [Accessed 13 Apr. 2018].

Filter Bubbles

My thoughts on the filter bubble are kind of divided at the moment till I experience it more, as I’ve been ignorant of it in a sense till recently. But, I’ll try to sum up what I feel right now. First, let’s sum up what a filter bubble is, according to whatis.techtarget.com, “an algorithmic bias that skews or limits the information an individual user sees on the internet. The bias is caused by the weighted algorithms that search engines, social media sites and marketers use to personalize user experience”. On the one hand, more for smaller activities or searches, I appreciate the filter bubble. I appreciate not having to sort through random items in searches menus on YouTube or Netflix and such when I’m browsing for entertainment or enjoyment. I appreciate not seeing Dance revolution or the 5 come up every time I’m searching for new shows or movies to enjoy. I appreciate it I look for enjoy or find 1 piece of info entertaining or interesting and am looking for similar material. I appreciate being able to find consistently what I enjoy online. I Do Not, however, enjoy filter bubbles, where researching, as finding counter facts or studies, or differing views and reviews of search items, becomes increasingly impossible. I do not enjoy simply seeing the same opinion or same people constantly on social media, although I am not a frequent user, as the same message is seemingly endlessly repeated in different words. These are my thoughts on a personal level, due to my experiences with filter bubbles. Examples could be the simple comparison with my roommate when searching for information about gun control. When I searched for gun control, I found search results relating to facts and statistics of gun control not helping and lists of the cities with the highest gun control, yet highest murder rate by gun, as if to prove a point. On the other hand, my roommate’s search came back with results mainly from editorials, current protests enraged by lack of gun control, and calls for more laws against guns. The fact that Either search produced a single differing opinion to what was entered or what we personally believed concerns me. On the matter of whether they are ethical or not, I am divided as well, but more clearly. I draw the line between entertainment and general information searched for. I believe that for YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, ect… Ect…, there is no ethical code or moral guide line to judge from. The goal of said sites is to keep you coming back more often, and if they provide better suggestions, or content you’re more likely to be interested in, they make more money. They have no responsibility to show you things you dislike or disagree with, as that would gain no profit for them. That is how I view the ethical issue of filter bubbles for sites based on entertainment. For general sites, however, Google, Bing, Yahoo, the line is very thin on what I believe should be their ethical priority. I believe or at least personally desire, to have the ability to turn off described filters. I still find them useful in some cases, but when desiring to be challenged or introduced to something new, I shouldn’t have to fund a new computer, incognito 20 miles away to be completely filter free. When these search engines isolate people who have no clue as to what is happening to them, being isolated from diversity of intellectual thought, is deeply ethically wrong according to my personal ethics. I believe he option to include or disclose the very personal filters so prevalent today, should be our, as the consumers, choice. But, as reality is not so kind, ethics, morals, and codes are subjective, and change from person to person. No singular wthical code can be applied for everyone in their personal filters. Even if it were possible, it may not come about, as these search engines that employ these filters, are businesses after all. If removing these filters would cost money rather than create profit, Ethics wouldn’t even be apart of the equation, nor their affects on society. Regardless of whether we agree with or disagree with these filters, or what we debate is ethical or not, as of now, it doesn’t matter. These things won’t get the filter’s removed or changed, only what more profitable for the ones that implement them.

 

 

 

Sources

WHAT IS FILTER BUBBLE? – DEFINITION FROM WHATIS.COM

In-text: (WhatIs.com, 2018)

Your Bibliography: WhatIs.com. (2018). What is filter bubble? – Definition from WhatIs.com. [online] Available at: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/filter-bubble [Accessed 13 Mar. 2018].

 

The Pattern on the Stone Review!

To tell you the truth, reading “The Pattern on the Stone” was quite dull. Its topics and methods of engaging the reader failed to entertain or keep my attention. However, despite the average feeling while reading being that of boredom, their were some ups and downs that captured or lost my interest more than the usual. An example of this would be my favorite part of the book, chapter 5 Algorithms and Heuristics from pages 77 to 91. I enjoyed learning about the specifics of certain algorithm’s such as Merge Sort, which I studied and discussed previously, or of the mere existence of rules that almost always right, that are more reliable than iron clad restricted algorithm’s, the heuristic. I had never before imagined that a program that wasn’t guaranteed a correct answer could possibly be more useful than something that isn’t guaranteed to be right. on the other hand, chapter 4, which was based off Turing machines was probably the least entertaining or engaging if them all. The limits of computers was not something that griped me, actually, i’d been under the belief that technology will hit bottlenecks but breakthroughs will redefine what the limits of technologies could be, similar to whats happened in the past. Believe it or not I only actually took the opportunity to look up jargon from the book or important vocab from chapter 5, my favorite chapter. Specifically I looked up the exact definition of algorithm’s and a heuristic. I wanted to know the exact definition, more than what the book described, and while what I found for Algorithm was nearly identical, the definition for heuristic was easier to understand once I decided to look it up. The definition and explanation of heuristic that I found was, “any approach to problem solving, learning, or discovery that employs a practical method not guaranteed to be optimal or perfect, but sufficient for the immediate goals”. I found this explanation, while mirroring the books, was simpler and easier for me to understand. If I had to choose one way or the other, i’d say this book did indeed help me understand things about computers I previously made misguided assumptions about. The modeling and similarities of our own brains to mechanical computers, was something I had never considered before. This book did indeed clear many misguided assumptions I had about computers, and gave me a great deal of clearer insight into them I previously lacked. Questions however it did not leave me with. I guess my lack of questions stems from my previous lack of knowledge, and how I’m still processing the information I have already gained. If I were to recommend this book to a friend similarly interested in computers, I would recommend it as a guide for beginners to introduce themselves into the beginning’s of computer’s, give slight insight into the programming that goes into them, and the future possibilities of computers. For more advanced practitioners i wouldn’t, as chances are they already know whats included in the book. I think the significance of this book lies in it’s basic knowledge in provides, and history of computers. I also feel that as it introduces us to the theory and logic of programs is what helps us familiarize us with what we’ll be doing in class in the future. I think these basics that it provides are why it was chosen a textbook for class, an because this class focuses more on theory and introduction to history and programming than in-depth study.

HEURISTIC

 “any approach to problem solving, learning, or discovery that employs a practical method not guaranteed to be optimal or perfect, but sufficient for the immediate goals”

In-text: (En.wikipedia.org, 2018)

Your Bibliography: En.wikipedia.org. (2018). Heuristic. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heuristic [Accessed 27 Feb. 2018].

HILLIS, W. D.

The pattern on the stone

 “A rule that tends to give right answer, but is not guaranteed to, is called a heuristic.”

In-text: (Hillis, n.d.)

Your Bibliography: Hillis, W. (n.d.). The pattern on the stone. New York City: Basic Books, p.83.

 

HILLIS, W. D.

The pattern on the stone

 “There is an even more reclusive algorithm, which doesn’t require cards to be sequentially numbered; it would be useful for putting a large number of business cards into alphabetical order, for example. This algorithm is called merge” sort”

In-text: (Hillis, n.d.)

Your Bibliography: Hillis, W. (n.d.). The pattern on the stone. New York City: Basic Books, p.81.

Algorithms!

The Algorithm I’ve decided to talk about is the Merge Sort algorithm, that was created in 1945. The inventor of this simple algorithm was the famous mathematician, known as the “Last Great Mathematician”, John Von Neumann. What’s unique about this algorithm is its style of Divide and Conquer that makes it efficient, and it use of n log n steps to be completed. The required use of n log n programming steps in this sorting algorithm makes it about the fastest algorithm possible.

If we know That an array of numbers, or cards or something of similar effect is sequentially ordered from 1 to the variable n Merge Sort can be used. Merge Sort as an algorithm is characterized by repetition, also described as recursive, and works extremely simply. It calls an unsorted array, of any amount, be 10, 20, 8, or even just 1 and divides into halves, creating 2 arrays’. in the case of the array being made of only 1, it considered already sorted and merged. The algorithm continues the division into halves for each new array created till each individual array contains only 1. Thus, the sorting process is complete, and the merging process can begin. The algorithm then takes 2 of the sorted array’s, each being comprised of one, and combines them, in order of least to greatest. Then once all the arrays of one have merged into separate arrays of two, it merges again following the same process, creating arrays of four and so on. It continues this merging process until all the sorted arrays are merged again into one array and have been put into the correct order.

A similar sorting algorithm would be one by the name of Quick Sort. It, like Merge Sort, is a sorting algorithm that divides array’s. However, instead of dividing and merging, Quick Sort follows another method that increases its speed over Merge Sort. It involves dividing then picoting. Pivoting lower numbers left, around the number that was to its left, or to the right if it was greater than. In this way the arrays are sorted by pivoting around each other, the merged. In smaller sets of data, Quick Sort has superior speed, however larger more complicated amounts of data prove that Merge Sort is by far it’s superior.

If I referred to computers as in the laptops and desktops we use today, I’d have to say that computers are not necessary for using either the Merge Sort or Quick Sort algorithm. They are simple enough that we can do them manually, each one of us is capable of it. However, with larger amounts of data using computers will always be more efficient than trying to compute the data on our own.

Regarding our textbooks, I’d say that algorithms are condensed and versatile forms of the programming and development of computers we’ve studied and read about so far. While the textbook can use strange examples, they do indeed help me to understand, such as the card stacking example provided on pg. 81. In the real world, Merge sort has been used in coding languages, past versions and current ones, as well as for many times systems must sort massive amounts of data, referred to as external sorting. Perl 5.8 is one version of a programming language that switched from quick sort to merge sort as their default code. Merge Sort may be an old algorithm, but it’s simplicity, efficiency, and ability to handle the ever increasing amounts of data that needs sorting still stands out today among all sorting algorithm’s. All of this history and its own track record is why Merge Sort is still an unique and valuable algorithm to remember.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HILLIS, W. D.

The pattern on the stone

 A sorting algorithm that requires just n lon n steps, like merge sort, is pretty fast. In fact, it is about the fastest algorithm possible.

In-text: (Hillis, 1998)

Your Bibliography: Hillis, W. (1998). The pattern on the stone. New York: Basic Books, pp.78-82.

 

HILLIS, W. D.

The pattern on the stone

In-text: (Hillis, 1998)

Your Bibliography: Hillis, W. (1998). The pattern on the stone. New York: Basic Books, p.80.

 

SORT – PERLDOC.PERL.ORG

In-text: (Perldoc.perl.org, 2018)

Your Bibliography: Perldoc.perl.org. (2018). sort – perldoc.perl.org. [online] Available at: https://perldoc.perl.org/sort.html [Accessed 13 Feb. 2018].

Getting to know Me

Hey everyone, I’m Charles, but I go by my middle name of Ryan. I was born in the bay area of California, before moving to San Diego, where I lived with my mom dad and little sister for about 8 years. I moved to Overland Park Kansas when I was 8 and we have lived their ever since. Despite being born in California, I consider Kansas my hometown, as I’ve enjoyed living here far more than I did California. I went to Blue Valley High School before graduating and coming here to K-state, where I used to play Soccer and Track (Javelin toss specifically). If I had to list some of my hobbies, they’d be video games, like Skyrim, Lord of The Rings: Shadow of War, and Ark: Survival Evolved. I also tend to enjoy reading fantasy novels such as Percy Jackson when I was younger, harry potter, Lotr, etc. My greatest hobby and passion however would have to be Anime & Manga. In the case of Anime, I hold some impressive achievements such as being up to date in all 823 episodes of One Piece, Finishing all of Naruto, and Bleach, and several other notable titles. If I had to a couple favorite anime’s they’d be One-Punch Man, One Piece, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, and Shokugeki no Soma, or Food Wars in English. Now enough about me personally and let’s get to my interests in K-state. I chose K-state as my university of choice off a more emotional than logical reasoning. I visited KU and K-state when deciding as I wanted to be close to home. I picked K-state for three main reasons, the first is I decided after researching that K-state had the better Eng. Program to offer me. The second reason was that while touring the campus, dining halls, dorms, and Aggie Ville, I simply got an overwhelmingly superior sense of community than I did a K-state. I felt as if this place would give me the atmosphere of a close-knit family, rather than a repeat of Highschool like KU (which I did not enjoy). The third reason was simply that this campus is a walking campus, unlike KU I don’t need to take a bus between classes, and as a side note I rather enjoy walking so this campus is a perfect fit for me. If I had to list my interests in Computer science that made me decide in said Major, I’d have to list Virtual Reality, Cyber Security, and Game Development as the top interests. Interest in Game development come from simply my spirit as a gamer (shout out to Xbox and PC gamers!), for Cyber Security I heard that it pays well, and the job market is increasing in recent years. My interest in Virtual Reality comes from a fascination I’ve had after watching a show called Sword Art Online. I know it’s a dream at this point, but making that dream come to fruition is what drives me to pursue and enhance VR technology, simple as that. The only interesting Job I’ve had was as a general employee at a Barbeque shop for about 2 months before quitting for personal reasons. All together it wasn’t that challenging work, but for a first job and working an average of 45-50 hours a week it was kind of rough at 7.25$/hour. After I graduate I would enjoy getting a job at any job related to virtual reality. But if I can find a decent paying job at least with my degree and hold it down I’d be satisfied. After all, no one lives to work, I personally live for my hobbies, I just need to work to finance them, also living but that comes second. If I had to choose which chapters of the textbooks most interest me, I’d go with “Universal Building Blocks”, Ch 2 pg’s 21-38 of Pattern on the Stone, and ch 9, “Beyond Engineering”, from pg’s 137-153, also from POTS. Ch 2 interests me as it gives me the idea of a set of rules, or simple logic that is the basis of all programming and starting from there is always what helps me the most when learning about something I enjoy. Ch 9 interest’s me because my dream you could say, Virtual Reality, my ideal version at least, lies there, beyond what I will be capable of on my own as an engineer. It might prove useful in the future when I need other experts help in completing the ideal Virtual Reality. Honestly the last prompt question has me stumped, as I rarely, if ever, look up news specifically on new technology and computers. If I had to pick a website I frequent, rarely, it would be https://www.theverge.com/tech for the latest news. I think I’ve only ever looked up tech news 4 times in my life, mostly within the last 3 years but still, not very often. Well, that’s everything I can think of that you need to start to get to know me. Ryan Long signing off for now.