General audience (including high-school students)

For CS/Math/Science audience


Popular books (not aimed at students)

  • Computers Ltd: What they really can’t do by David Harel. This is a beautiful, well-written and enjoyable book. It presents with meticulous clarity the fundamental results of computability and complexity theory to a non-mathematical audience, and briefly surveys novel models of computation such as quantum computing and molecular computing. Harel also explains how the computational intractability of some problems can be put to good use in fields like public-key cryptography. There should be more books like this one!
  • Algorithmics: The Spirit of Computing by David Harel and Yishai Feldman. From the Amazon page: “First published in 1987, explains the basic ideas of algorithms, their structures, and how they manipulate data in computer programs. Of interest to programmers, systems analysts and designers, and software engineers, but the technical level is low enough to be accessible to readers with almost no mathematics or computer background.” Makes it sound like a version of _What Is Mathematics?_ for TCS.
  • Godel, Escher Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter. Belongs at least as much to TCS as it does to AI. This book is the first exposure to TCS ideas for many people.
  • Turing by Christos Papadimitriou. A novel about computation.
  • Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. The biography of one of our founding fathers.
  • Out Of Their Minds by Dennis Shasha and Cathy Lazere. Interviews with 15 notable computer scientists, including our own Edsger Dijkstra, Michael Rabin, Donald Knuth, Robert Tarjan, Leslie Lamport, Steve Cook, and Leonid Levin.

Ideas from Other Fields (to inspire us)

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