Poems That Solve Puzzles: The History and Science of Algorithms

It is the first book for the general reader on the history and science of algorithms.

Uniquely, the algorithms are explained in a clear manner suitable for a non-specialist. The explanations are augmented with easy-to-understand examples and illustrations.

This title is a narrative history. The tale is driven by the stories of the people and events that gave rise to the invention of algorithms.


Algorithms are the hidden methods that computers apply to process information and make decisions. Nowadays, our lives are run by algorithms. They determine what news we see. They influence which products we buy. They suggest our dating partners. They may even decide the outcome of national elections. They have created, and destroyed, entire industries. Despite mounting concerns, few know what algorithms are, how they work, or who created them.

Poems that Solve Puzzles tells the story of algorithms from their ancient origins to the present day and beyond. The book introduces readers to the inventors and inspirational events behind the genesis of the world’s most important algorithms. Professor Chris Bleakley recounts tales of ancient lost inscriptions, Victorian steam-driven contraptions, top secret military projects, penniless academics, hippy dreamers, tech billionaires, superhuman artificial intelligences, cryptocurrencies, and quantum computing. Along the way, the book explains, with the aid of clear examples and illustrations, how the most influential algorithms work.

Poems that Solve Puzzles tells the story of how algorithms came to revolutionise our world.


Chris Bleakley

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Author Website Amazon, US Amazon, UK Waterstones


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