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Published on Dec 30, 2019
Donald Knuth is one of the greatest and most impactful computer scientists and mathematicians ever. He is the recipient in 1974 of the Turing Award, considered the Nobel Prize of computing. He is the author of the multi-volume work, the magnum opus, The Art of Computer Programming. He made several key contributions to the rigorous analysis of the computational complexity of algorithms. He popularized asymptotic notation, that we all affectionately know as the big-O notation. He also created the TeX typesetting which most computer scientists, physicists, mathematicians, and scientists and engineers use to write technical papers and make them look beautiful. This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast.
OUTLINE: 0:00 - Introduction 3:45 - IBM 650 7:51 - Geeks 12:29 - Alan Turing 14:26 - My life is a convex combination of english and mathematics 24:00 - Japanese arrow puzzle example 25:42 - Neural networks and machine learning 27:59 - The Art of Computer Programming 36:49 - Combinatorics 39:16 - Writing process 42:10 - Are some days harder than others? 48:36 - What's the "Art" in the Art of Computer Programming 50:21 - Binary (boolean) decision diagram 55:06 - Big-O notation 58:02 - P=NP 1:10:05 - Artificial intelligence 1:13:26 - Ant colonies and human cognition 1:17:11 - God and the Bible 1:24:28 - Reflection on life 1:28:25 - Facing mortality 1:33:40 - TeX and beautiful typography 1:39:23 - How much of the world do we understand? 1:44:17 - Question for God