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Ali Almossawi works on the Firefox team at Mozilla and is an alumnus of MIT's Engineering Systems Division (MS) and Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science (MS). Previous stints included working as a research associate at Harvard and as a collaborator at the MIT Media Lab. His writing has appeared in Wired and Scientific American.
What's the best way to sort your laundry? Why is Facebook so good at predicting what you like? How do you find new music? Readers around the world have embraced Ali Almossawi's whimsical illustrations and his funny, clarifying explanations of complex subjects. In Bad Choices Almossawi demystifies a new topic of increasing relevance to our lives: algorithms. This is a book for anyone who's looked at a given task and wondered if there was a better, faster way to get it done. What's the best way to organize a grocery list? What's the secret to being more productive at work? How can we better express ourselves in 140-characters? Presenting us with alternative methods for tackling each scenario, Almossawi guides us to better choices that borrow from same systems that underline a computer word processor, a Google search engine, or a Facebook ad. Once you recognise what makes a method faster and more efficient, you'll become a more nimble, creative problem-solver, ready to face new challenges.
A relatable, interactive, and funny exploration of algorithms, those essential building blocks of computer science - and of everyday life - from the author of the wildly popular Bad Arguments. Algorithms -- processes that are made up of unambiguous steps and do something useful -- make up the very foundations of computer science. Yet, they also inform our choices in approaching everyday tasks, from managing a pile of clothes fresh out of the dryer to deciding what music to listen to. With Bad Choices, Ali Almossawi, presents twelve scenes from everyday life that help demonstrate and demystify the fundamental algorithms that drive computer science, bringing these seemingly elusive concepts into the understandable realms of the everyday. Readers will discover how: * Matching socks can teach you about search and hash tables * Planning trips to the store can demonstrate the value of stacks * Deciding what music to listen to shows why link analysis is all-important * Crafting a succinct Tweet draws on ideas from compression * Making your way through a grocery list helps explain priority queues and traversing graphs * And more As you better understand algorithms, you'll also discover what makes a method faster and more efficient, helping you become a more nimble, creative problem-solver, ready to face new challenges. Bad Choices will open the world of algorithms to all readers making this a perennial go-to for fans of quirky, accessible science books.
Have you read (or stumbled into) one too many irrational online debates? Ali Almossawi certainly had, so he wrote An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments! This handy guide is here to bring the internet age a much needed dose of old-school logic (really old-school, a la Aristotle). Here are cogent explanations of the straw man fallacy, the slippery slope argument, the ad hominem attack, and other common attempts at reasoning that fall short - plus a beautifully drawn menagerie of animals who (adorably) commit every logical faux pas. Rabbit thinks a strange light in the sky must be a UFO because no one can prove otherwise (the appeal to ignorance). And Lion doesn't believe that gas emissions harm the planet because, if that were true, he wouldn't like the result (the argument from consequences). Once you learn to recognise these abuses of reason, they start to crop up everywhere from parliamentary debate to YouTube comments - which makes this geek-chic book a must for anyone in the habit of holding opinions. It's the antidote to fuzzy thinking, with furry animals!