People, Problems, and Proofs

Essays from Gödel's Lost Letter: 2010

Authors: Lipton, Richard J., Regan, Kenneth W.

  • Unique breadth of examples from the history of computer science and mathematics
  • Offers tips and inspiration to graduate students
  • Authors very experienced at communicating the essence of difficult problems
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Buy this book

eBook $29.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-642-41422-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $39.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-642-41421-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $39.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-662-52301-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

People, problems, and proofs are the lifeblood of theoretical computer science. Behind the computing devices and applications that have transformed our lives are clever algorithms, and for every worthwhile algorithm there is a problem that it solves and a proof that it works. Before this proof there was an open problem: can one create an efficient algorithm to solve the computational problem? And, finally, behind these questions are the people who are excited about these fundamental issues in our computational world.

In this book the authors draw on their outstanding research and teaching experience to showcase some key people and ideas in the domain of theoretical computer science, particularly in computational complexity and algorithms, and related mathematical topics. They show evidence of the considerable scholarship that supports this young field, and they balance an impressive breadth of topics with the depth necessary to reveal the power and the relevance of the work described.

Beyond this, the authors discuss the sustained effort of their community, revealing much about the culture of their field. A career in theoretical computer science at the top level is a vocation: the work is hard, and in addition to the obvious requirements such as intellect and training, the vignettes in this book demonstrate the importance of human factors such as personality, instinct, creativity, ambition, tenacity, and luck.

The authors' style is characterize

d by personal observations, enthusiasm, and humor, and this book will be a source of inspiration and guidance for graduate students and researchers engaged with or planning careers in theoretical computer science.

About the authors

Richard Lipton is the Storey Professor of Computer Science at Georgia Institute of Technology; previously he held faculty positions at Yale University, the University of California at Berkeley, and Princeton University. His research is focused primarily on the theory of computation, where he has made seminal contributions. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an ACM Fellow, and a Guggenheim Fellow. Kenneth Regan is a professor of computer science at The State University of New York at Buffalo. His research interests include computational complexity. He is an international chess master and an expert on investigating cheating in chess.

Reviews

“The book has 63 chapters, each one … representing an edited version of a post in GLL. … this book will appeal to readers seeking an insider view on how creative mathematical ideas emerge. And it will also appeal to experts for its insightful ruminations on current scientific and cultural problems in theoretical computer science.” (Marius Zimand, Mathematical Reviews, June, 2015)

“This book is one of those inspiring books that almost every computer scientist should read. Moreover, it is also very well suited to a wider audience, including those curious about the field and newcomers. Its authors, Lipton and Regan, did a wonderful job introducing and analyzing important problems in complexity theory with an easy-to-read text. … It is therefore an invaluable source of inspiration and study.” (Carlos Linares Lopez, Computing Reviews, August, 2014)

Table of contents (63 chapters)

  • The Claimant, the Readers, and the Crowd

    Lipton, Richard J. (et al.)

    Pages 1-18

  • Kenneth Iverson: Notation and Thinking

    Lipton, Richard J. (et al.)

    Pages 19-23

  • Edmund Hillary: Proofs and Mountain Climbing

    Lipton, Richard J. (et al.)

    Pages 25-28

  • Leonardo da Vinci: Proofs as Art

    Lipton, Richard J. (et al.)

    Pages 29-34

  • Michael Atiyah: The Role of Proof

    Lipton, Richard J. (et al.)

    Pages 35-37

Buy this book

eBook $29.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-642-41422-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $39.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-642-41421-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $39.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-662-52301-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
People, Problems, and Proofs
Book Subtitle
Essays from Gödel's Lost Letter: 2010
Authors
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
eBook ISBN
978-3-642-41422-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-642-41422-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-642-41421-3
Softcover ISBN
978-3-662-52301-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVIII, 333
Number of Illustrations and Tables
28 b/w illustrations, 5 illustrations in colour
Topics