Programmed Inequality by Mar Hicks is a history of early computing in the UK, starting right at the beginning. The book concentrates on the experiences and conditions for women in tech, and their changing status. Much like Recoding Gender by Janet Abbate (which I read recently but didn’t, for some reason, blog about) it looks at the way the computing profession is first invented and then changes over time, influenced by and influencing women’s position in tech. The simple tale is one that’s been told a few times… 1940s-50s – to begin with, computer was a word that referred to someone who computed, probably aRead More →

I recently finished Algorithms to Live by (the computer science of human decisions), by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths. The book provides a fairly detailed popular science account of some major findings from computer science, relating computational algorithms to the way humans solve problems. As an example – how do we fit things in our busy lives? Let’s look at scheduling theory! Or, how should we organise our books and libraries and computer files? Let’s look at the theories behind Caching! As an interloper into computer science I found the book particularly interesting; I know about a lot of CS and algorithmic concepts through workingRead More →