February 07, 2004

Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About by Donald E. Knuth

rarelytalks.jpgDon Knuth is one of the major stars of computer science scholarship. He's the author of the three-volume (soon to be four) The Art of Computer Programming, the inventor of the TeX computer typesetting system among many other claims to computer science fame.

Inspired by a bible study series he led in his church, Knuth wrote a book called 3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated in which he did a semi-random sampling of the Bible by considering chapter 3 verse 16 of each book (at least the ones that had such a verse).

Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About is taken from a series of lectures he did at MIT in 1999 on topics related to spirituality and computer science.

Most of the lectures are about the discipline of computer science as seen through the lens of his experience as a Lutheran and his experience writing the 3:16 book. But there's also a fair amount of speculation about the nature of life, the universe, and everything. This is especially true in the question and answer sessions following each lecture which are also preserved in the book.

Interesting reading and Knuth has a wonderfully geeky sense of humor.

Posted by jeffy at February 7, 2004 06:16 PM
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