Thursday, October 13, 2016

[Book] Algorithms to live by: The Computer Science of human decisions

Do you like algorithms? And, like me, do you often get confused and frustrated with how to deal with humans in a rational, logical way? And.. Do you often wish there were computer algorithms to deal with human behaviour and interactions? 

If your answer to these questions is No, then don't read this book.

"Algorithms to live by: The computer science of human decisions" attempts to reduce complex, often chaotic human actions and decision-making processes to a set of well-defined mathematical rules. 
For example, how many houses you should look at before deciding which one to buy? (Short answer: 37%). Or which is the best way to sort your books? Or to schedule interviews of candidates so that you get the best person in shortest time? Or how to use the concept of caching to organize your papers in an optimum manner?

The book is full of such examples of how to use the mathematical theories that are commonly used in computer algorithms, into our day to day lives. The authors, Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths, have taken care not to faze and daze the reader with too much jargon, which makes this book an easy read. 

The only complaint I have about this one is: Even after reading 370 pages, I wanted more of it. That, perhaps, is less of a complaint and more of an acknowledgement of how good this book is. 

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