Algorithms to Live By by Brian Christian

Algorithms to Live By

A fascinating exploration of how insights from computer algorithms can be applied to our everyday lives, helping to solve common decision-making problems and illuminate the workings of the human mindAll our lives are constrained by limited space and time, limits that give rise to a particular set of problems. What should we do, or leave undone, in a day or a lifetime? How much messiness should we accept? What balance of new activities and familia...

Details Algorithms to Live By

TitleAlgorithms to Live By
Release DateApr 19th, 2016
PublisherHenry Holt and Co.
GenreNonfiction, Science, Psychology, Computer Science, Technology

Reviews Algorithms to Live By

  • Brendon Schrodinger
    This is one of those books that you pick up in the hope that it lives up to its title but is likely not to because it was written by someone from marketing. Every now and then it pays off, and this is one of those times.This book spoke volumes to me. I have studied math, and I love math especially applying it to scientific problems. But I have never looked into algorithms, nor have I been taught algorithms. What a shame! I took to the ideas insta...
  • Brian Clegg
    I was captivated by much of this book. It's the perfect antidote to the argument you often hear from young maths students - 'What's the point? I'll never use this in real life!' This often comes up with algebra (which often is useful), but reflects the way that we rarely cover the most applicable bits of maths to everyday life at high school. Although this book is subtitled 'the computer science of human decisions', it's really about the maths of...
  • David
    I enjoy thinking about algorithms as they are applied to technical problems. So, when I saw this book, I thought, "This is a book written just for me." And, that assessment was absolutely correct. It is a fascinating book, all about how sophisticated algorithms are applicable to everyday problems.The book starts out describing the "optimal stopping problem." It is also sometimes called the "secretary hiring problem", and I have seen it applied to...
  • Amir Tesla
    Okay, I loved this book. So what is it about?The big pictureWe encounter many problems in our daily life, for instance, should I park my car here or proceed with the hope of finding a free spot a bit further? Should I try new restaurants or just stick to good old ones I know? How can I find my life's purpose? What is the fastest way I can sort out my books, hmmm, should I even try sorting out my shelves? How can I best schedule my tasks for maxim...
  • Riku Sayuj
    A simple algorithm to conceive of literary plots could be to slot them as belonging to one of these categories: Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Self, Man vs. Man & Man vs. Society. Brian & Tom enlists findings from computer science to guide us through these. Algorithms here are the shortcuts or even the intuitions that guide us through problems that are intractable at first glance. We, apparently, use them everyday. Brian & Tom are here to document this ...
  • Bill
    I really enjoyed this book. It's a nice popular review of research, in a style similar to Malcolm Gladwell. It was fascinating to see the wide-reaching applications of classic algorithms from computer science and also humbling to see how many problems are essentially impossible to truly optimize. However, as luck would have it, there are often simple approximations that give a pretty good solution with very little effort. The authors do a good jo...
  • Rossdavidh
    Even though I'm a computer programmer, I have to say when I saw the title I was a bit put off. Algorithms are what I use for telling a computer what to do, but I'm not sure I feel comfortable with using them to tell myself what to do. Real life is less tidy and binary than the data in a computer.But, perhaps out of train-wreck curiousity, I picked it up and took a look. The first thing I noticed is that Alison Gopnik gave it a dust jacket endorse...
  • Kony
    An engaging conceptual tour of computational/networking concepts, how they apply in the computer world, and how we can use them to reframe, streamline, and manage a diverse array of real-life problems, both silly and serious. As a reader who knows little about computer science - but loves learning new frameworks, drawing analogies between disparate fields, and finding metaphors for life everywhere - I thoroughly enjoyed this. Some of my favorite ...
  • Atila Iamarino
    Excelente mistura de matemática, estatística, computação e problemas do dia-a-dia. Um daqueles livros raros que te ensina coisas novas, novas perspectivas e ainda dá dicas úteis. Uma ótima surpresa. Esperava mais sobre mente e bioquímica mas não fez falta nenhuma.
  • Farhana
    It was quite interesting, intriguing ! Once I had an argument with somebody who believed in using "steepest ascent hill climbing approach" while decision making. I personally don't favor hill climbing algorithm. I think the following two lines matter:neighbor <---a highest valued successor of the current.if value(neighbor)> value(current) then replace current with neighbor.Now, whether people would execute these two lines or not depends on many t...
  • Andrew
    So many great one-liners in this book.Stop on Tinder at 37%.Use thick markers in brainstorming.All things being equal, it'll last as long as it's lasted.But lest you think this is another fluffy brain book, it's actually hard computer programming with the occasional laugh-out-loud line. The team behind it are serious academics who have thought deeply about how computers think and how we can use those algorithms to make our lives easier. Which, wh...
  • Shayan Kh
    یه سری توضیح فارسی بعد از این ریویو ی انگلیسی هست.Wow. I did not expect this book to be this good. Algorithms to live by is aptly named. The authors use computer science problems to tackle everyday problems that every one of us encounters on a daily basis. How should I schedule my day? How should I organize my files? When I found a parking spot, should I park or should I search a bit more? All of these probl...
  • د.أمجد الجنباز
    يتحدث الكتاب عن تطبيقات في الرياضات والخوارزميات، وكيفية الاستفادة منها في حياتنا اليوميةفمثلا، كم يلزمنا الانتظار والتريث عند البحث عن موظف جديد، أو شريك حياة؟ماهي افضل طريقة لترتيب البريد الالكتروني والمكتب والكتب؟هل الأفضل البحث عن فرص جديد...
  • Emily
    One of the authors of this also produced The Most Human Human, a very good book about artificial intelligence that I probably didn't laud in enough detail in my review (although, to be fair, I read it on a Turkish beach and reviewed it well afterward). This book is an even more ambitious attempt to bring computer science concepts to a lay audience, and I thought it was excellent. Presenting common algorithms as a way of making decisions in ordina...
  • Deke
    Definitely valuable material here, but I can't fully recommend it... although I'm having trouble discerning why. Fact is, I read a lot of books of this ilk, and this one didn't strike the right balance between the hard math and the chatty anecdotal moments, as Freakonomics did. Moreover the real life application of these principles are in many cases strikes me as being about as real-world-useful as textbook economic models, with their perfectly l...
  • Huyen Chip
    I read this book per my professor's recommendation and I wasn't disappointed. Throughout the book, there are many moments that made me go: "Wow, that explains a lot!" I'm familiar with most the algorithms mentioned in the book, but I didn't see their application in real life until now.
  • Ali
    A really excellent book
  • Todd N
    This is the first book I’ve read that was recommended to me by a Goodreads friend I haven’t met irl. (Thanks, Darian!)Very interesting and readable book that goes through algorithms that are common in computer science and tech fields, gives a bit of history about them, and then shows ways that they could be applied to every day scenarios.Since I’ve worked in tech on products up and down the OSI stack, I was familiar with a lot of them thoug...
  • Amir The Fat Bookworm
    It was a delightful book for all nerds, STEMians and utilitarians, who would love to analyse every single action by the probable result of doing it. This book uses some major algorithms that has been used in computer science and mathematics, and showed their implications for daily decisions. I enjoyed this book, though I would've loved it, if it had more of a structure, and maybe even exercises, for eager audience.
  • linhtalinhtinh
    3.5/5. I'm totally hooked and decided to buy the print version because it is actually that helpful. It could almost rival Thinking, Fast and Slow in terms of how much of (relative) new yet relevant things it taught me. However, the writing is not as neat and the authors try a bit too hard to sell to book to general audience, stretching the implications/applicability of some algorithms. They are not the original researchers, i.e. they didn't actua...
  • Onur Uslu
    Okurken epey düşündürten bir kitap olduğu için haliyle okuma sürecinde sizden epey zaman isteyen bir kitap "Hayatımızdaki Algoritmalar". İçinde öğrendiğim çok fazla öğreti var ve algoritmik olarak düşünmeye dair güzel bakış açısı sunduğunu söyleyebilirim. Mühendislerin aşina olduğu kavramlar kitapta bolca bulunduğu için bu meslekle alakası olmayan insanlar için epey zorlayıcı olabilir fakat uzun bir zamana yay...
  • Marcin Zaremba
    Zacznę tak: "Algorithms to live by" to najlepsza książka jaką czytałem w tym roku. Jeśli choć trochę ufasz moim recenzjom to kup ją i zacznij czytać/słuchać najszybciej jak możesz.Ostatni raz kiedy miałem tyle razy mrowienie czaszki oznajmiające mind=blown było za czasów Hararriego i "Sapiens". Tutaj z kolei autorzy co rozdział serwują mi niesamowite połączenie filozofii, logiki, matematyki (=czy coś jest prawdziwe) i comput...
  • Willian Molinari
    This is that kind of book that does not answer questions, it just creates a lot more. :)I tend to not implement algorithms just for the sake of learning a new one and this is not a good thing. When you read these kinds of books you understand why it's so important to know which kinds of algorithms already exists and which problems they solve.Real hackers (Read Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution) implement their own code just for the sake ...
  • Peter Mcloughlin
    Thorny real world problems often do not have a clear solution. We face a messy world with ill defined problems such as trade offs between things like whether to explore something new or exploit a tried and true method. There are also problems that are ill defined or hard to formulate or maybe a problem has such a large search space that finding the one best solution is impossible. Computer scientists have had to take beautiful computation and mat...
  • Andy
    Oy. This type of thinking is part of what is wrong with the world and gives nerds a bad reputation.These algorithms are very theoretical. It's impossible to apply them without making all kinds of assumptions that don't seem generally valid in the real world. And the proponents don't test them to see if they work. For example, they've got one on how to find a parking spot. They ask the guy who came up with it how it works for him. He answers "Oh m...
  • Elena
    Useful and curiosity pleasing at the same time. I will remember to use in my office and personal life the exponential backoff algorithm for sure. I will also use technique of relaxing difficult problems (the method is used as a modeling strategy in mathematical optimization). This one is cute too: some problems are so complex, they are simply intractable (i. e. no algorithms that can solve them elegantly exist and the only solution -- brute-force...
  • Vivian Zhang
    I wholeheartedly think every person in computer science can find value in reading this book, whether that be in better informing how to live life optimally, or by applying human tendencies to computer science challenges.
  • Alex
    TL;DR I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who starts (or continues) to study computer science. It provides an important connection or grounding, between somewhat dry science and real life and shows how our everyday actions and decisions are described or affected by core CS algorithms.I listened to it as an audiobook and I'd say that's the only book with the word "algorithm" in its title so far, that is perfectly suitable for the audiobook fo...
  • Graeme Roberts
    Algorithms to Live By is fascinating and delightful. The subject works surprisingly well as an audiobook, and co-author Brian Christian is an engaging narrator. People who reason logically are algorithmic thinkers, whether they are writing computer code or making everyday decisions. The authors move back and forth between those worlds very effectively. A discussion of computer caching, for example, brings out strong analogies with the workings of...
  • Kulturozpyt Prumerny
    Vickreyho aukce - super věc. Jinak jsem se dočetl spoustu věcí a nazíral na ně z nových úhlů. Jakkoli kniha vypadá podle obalu jako algoritmy pro třídění ponožek, je četba přínosná jak pro domácnost, tak pro rodinu a práci.