The HLF Portraits: Donald Ervin Knuth

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The HLF Portraits: Donald Ervin Knuth
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German copyright law applies. This film may be used for your own use but it may not be distributed via the internet or passed on to external parties.
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2017
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English

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The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation presents the HLF Portraits: Donald Ervin Knuth; ACM A.M. Turing Award, 1974 Recipients of the ACM A.M. Turing Award and the Abel Prize in discussion with Marc Pachter, Director Emeritus National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, about their lives, their research, their careers and the circumstances that led to the awards. Video interviews produced for the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation by the Berlin photographer Peter Badge. The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation or any other person or associated institution involved in the making and distribution of the video. Background: The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) annually organizes the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), which is a networking event for mathematicians and computer scientists from all over the world. The HLFF was established and is funded by the German foundation the Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS), which promotes natural sciences, mathematics and computer science. The HLF is strongly supported by the award-granting institutions, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM: ACM A.M. Turing Award, ACM Prize in Computing), the International Mathematical Union (IMU: Fields Medal, Nevanlinna Prize), and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (DNVA: Abel Prize). The Scientific Partners of the HLFF are the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and Heidelberg University.

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and the and about the yeah the 1st thing I want you be and so can you tell me something of a world in which we war I was born in the middle of Milwaukee Wisconsin and that was 1938 this which makes me so on and of my mind my dad was the well actually organist of and also schoolteacher in name with school systems and my mother worked a but at what when I was growing up up to during the war she had a job as a secretary of energy and and and if you want went on to be 1 involved in the real estate that in in in downtown Milwaukee as manager I also openly on each of the past my sister was born it's C. 3 years after me so close to us what he said there were a horror show this particular directions like my venture read every book on polar raise children and the and I think we have a spot probably told you what to do and and the time they didn't follow the that is that they they they decided to actually let me read books instead of on while the common wisdom was to that keep that until I was older because it I wouldn't be born in school if I already knew how to so something about it so they so they so the the interesting thing was that the Lockyer public library have and and the worm program and and I thought that was the 1st time I was reading the newspaper was when I was only 2 years old or something I thought I was the youngest member of the book were being here yeah his youngest member of the Milwaukee was the so I so I mean I picked up a little more about it but I but in those days of the children could could write streetcars down to dumped on Milwaukee safely with the parents there and 1 anymore like natural that was what it was but it was but I was probably less than 10 years old I was and then I want to go into the library and and and to codebook set by the window and I forgot and I know what closing time and so they had to call my parents that you know on the farm you there and and and Then yes current had come and you know what library and water yet not so strongly that they knew that I was a welcome I guess the most different thing about me was my long attention span and that I wasn't distracted but something every that's probably the biggest difference between kids known on how much of my understand it and roll music here but more of a little bit because of the nature of your family and your school the nature phase in the early part of the world and be interested in talking more about that what about science and technology in particular and so on we we did have a very much about science in in my school but we had we had very good about that grammar for example in English grammar so so 1 of the things that fascinated me the most when I was in 7th grade or about once how to diagram sentences you subject predicate that you know that that made sense and diversity of of you know we can have book we had a girl we learned something about physiology and so on but it might at high school will be my 1st exposure to chemistry and FIL really the up when you really have to to know something about the science that was not trivial and and the math teachers in high school in did not have much of a of had a wonderful visit who want wonderful chemistry of its cage on its and so there was somebody here I show you the possibilities for the he he inspired me greatly is and he and he wrote his own textbook ground around and so when I that and this so my father was also involved with music and out and I had taken lessons in which 7 years or something like that so I so I I continued a strong interest in music and in high school for example I was in
but I was the companies to the chorus I I was in the marching band which is the time-dependent and I played I believe in 1 of my played saxophone on the other it played the physical the body of we have to be on and on so then when it came time to go to college I I and growing these I think follow major the music or this is because the the 1 teacher spotty and music because the other you can the see you were torn while back and I I was I think I may be considered to 2 different colleges 1 word in 1 of which our own music major together with work which I chose which was which was K stick clean a half which work right I started to use that the colleges and this is 1 thing about your childhood through I assume that that is often referenced in writing such you that if you're directory young problem solver you enjoy the idea of solving problems and in some cases the very way the way of solving problems so can you is that fair to the site and then if you are I the tree but that process the but I would look like also was there's kind of an automaton in the head like I did with what I was told I would but I would see the in fact I would see the that that and no I don't play with with numbers so well I I spend I don't know how many hours it work with the with with a little game that at 6 horses that that went around the track and you roll dice and being known and that tells you how far the horrors calls and I would root for the Red Horsey but I would roll the dice and honest in our knowledge is watching what Thom now watching the patterns of what most seen some actually you know what the fair dice some more selection getting ahead of the others and I get my dad had little calculator of the mechanical calculator that would be capable of multiplying can digit number and and I will the calculator and I would and I would it and I would and I plot graphs of the of the of the the in in this suppose I have a function like and 3 X squared plus that plus 2 X. minus minus library on the 1st few in plus point 1 excuse letters I would say that I also ours to me in the drawing the graphs part has a varied coefficients of all functions and Eq economic and and I would see how the time held the graphic change and I field by field hundreds of sheets of orange graph paper and to my little my eyes the the display this for all of us so I was a and that Likud in 2nd year in high school the wasn't clearly you being recognized by now in your high schoolers in quite a while that this this thing would be the 1st time I was pregnant recognize was when I was in in grade and there was no competition in Milwaukie by the TV station on run by which there was a science I don't know some sort of financial on TV every Saturday morning and and the sponsor was Swedish giant Bauer Corp. and the question was how many words could you make of the letters in the Ziegler's China and don't and so I in very intrigued by this and and I feigned stomachache for 2 weeks so they could stay home from school and work on this find as many words from 2 giant Berners-Lee good and I came up with 40 500 words and the judges had only 20 500 words and destination so so so what it a problem selling our world I guess it's more like obsessive fo focusing on so on and on and on the boat and so what follow the perfectionist variation but they are accessible to the muscle for just sort of what determines the year with the do doing something completely rather than you think but rather than part with the right and this is Meyer were considered off I don't want to we're going used it on the site I didn't paying attention right which is probably a good lesson of life so now I can let you go to college and you've you've decided between physics and music you know
your conscience of what was that choice where and so went case stepped in
while and as for like that so yeah my mother's family she grew up in summer and on and the the the the standards of admission were coffinite and and the dean told us the 1st day that should look at a lot current left and the right and and 1 of us will be the next year so I was I was middle Canada's was the right word but I would really hard on from studying and b and b and trying to get do more work than was assigned for the for class and things like that from our you over the wages so or I had a scholarship and I think and actually it what it was a partial Scotch my my parents were born in the we were not all well all from the beginning of this is that if a slight and originally unknown or this is how it was something like 12 dollars a month well when I was 4 and and he but this can a rented from no I mean what am I I mentioned to pay off and make a living wage by taking the the students will to teaching writing and work in in the in college and all of research at least 2 kinds of communities communities fellow students and the communities that the fact we represent in terms of noticing interacting with them was the lives of the community of students with that important influential in your life in terms of the the choices right I I I I the you will have that 1st it
at 1st it was just in my dorm of but I I thought I would play a lotta ping pong with got the kids and things like that and so on until my grades which little bit and then have you looked in bone bridging and and the other activities but I but I I joined the school paper on and I was always manager for the basketball team in the fact I joined the thank you the systolic band manager from attracting and so on so I did a lot of of critical activities and also pledged articulatory my 1st year and then became for instance the company and so on from normal college and experience yes all right so know talking but I certainly didn't absorb myself was forward in my studies alike in did you try not to get us to get out of it in terms of finding mentoring and with a particular individuals who made us in you out right my come certainly version here I would say that my chemistry teacher the you allowed chemistry come because of my physics teacher Newell the chemistry and physics and life has teaches you a lot of mathematics chemistry and physics and he was the 1 that really impressed me out what what what the name and his main characters was that I couldn't impress him the no no matter how much I tried which is sort of grant and but I admired him and I wanted to to I wanted to to see that you have to say something kind of her work and in the and work but but it but he was very much got me into what I to put out and learn love mathematics but who was who was part of a new to me and had in high you add much that or you can be in high school I can't come up with questions of my teachers couldn't answer so I stopped this you know and that's so it is so storage and so now you have some teachers who tend not only the head of the yeah they challenges right conversely in the of I got over that was my major problem but I found out that dead and that I could test exams in physics but didn't have the intuition that that really you know like I I could answer all the questions but I didn't know why they asked a question which I some of you know the book but in this good definition of a moment when minus this is not a new world that was half of that the other half which that in lab I will I was I was totally in and I hope I would love to be crucial whatever on in 1 of the experiments we were supposed to measure the young and the heat of a political specific heat all 4 of 7 of something and and the experimentally in in the answer that I got I was so far off then according to the formula and the physics book I was I was too in 20 per cent in here well and again I said to you know how can that body be more than a hundred percent world that was so not only did I know that I was no good and that expression in the lab but I also brought to light the way for this is defined as of % of yes is I figured they had the wrong form of and we're so so I along and they go there was very little the other thing too that is our of what I mean it's it's entirely no I think 1 of them and they started but then I found out that in mathematics it was possible to to have some problems where you actually knew when you had the answer but I realize that Phyllis is never gets to that stage it's only you get accumulated more and more evidence that things become more and more true but you cannot you can never order the sun and see what's going on there you can never you you can magnified there are 2 realities of to the point where you know exactly what's the joint another layer that you that's beyond beyond and so you all to this is possible through his whole life would never never knowing that he has had a thing right is getting more and more sure well that you know it's it's not that like the movement is extremely important so were you welcome to the mathematics I think don't well and he says to the young and what they the other story is that we had this it is eccentric teacher named Louis Green who who had the previous year failed the entire class of of civil
engineers that he had of and and in the target class this of most of that he had had in the textbook for called basic mathematics and and you talk about logic and things like that that we to now become part of and creaking but he and he had done nothing on this all the time and this was the late fifties and and and so we had a reputation for being you know really are over there I'm even more than in than pork onto who would like it that and I can do so Sony when we gave us this the area times other problem 1 day and he said you know if anybody solves this problem you can automatically in and so naturally so way we look at the problem because if he would give it must be you must be hopelessly different set of however 1 Saturday morning I know I was in the marching band and the band was scheduled to go to Detroit to play a game I missed the bus here I so I had a whole day which you know which I sort of plan to be just waiting and so it's OK let me work on greens and possible problems and then you won't lucky and and assault and so on and so on Monday morning turn and the answer and use OK you're it class and so a could clusters time involved the use of the theory on 10 of the but then I but then I I I feel a little guilty about that have 2 words and so on the in 30 years I I became the greater for and for this class and so so I could make up and learn the stuff that I'm right I have produced and and I switched into the math major and there was that there were 5 and I worked for many years and now I'm going to leave it is because you have such a rich life he still mitigation graduate but I think something quite a amazing and you can just get Europe be as the fact of decided to toss to the masses of the processes yes some of that come to be and when you have no OK so some of you well this is the the the fact is on so why Miesel admit I found out that it utility grads courses in underground courses case had case to have high standards for admitting grad students and undergrads students until the last no competition you take a grand cost you can use it to breed and so a weapon but other student and discover this and so so I could I could take graduate courses and externally it looked like you know what I was doing what it really was in that gave me time to to to work with the basketball team and and and the fraternity and and and so on but because I didn't have to really the worked hard and they're caught so so so so and they so but the case of a a good press agent that the opera public relations man he wanted stories in the newspaper so he it's anyway I not helped along whose idea was but but they they made an unprecedented of the of the the they never done it before giving you given book given the measures read the same time probably love and very often that can be funny I have no idea what but but so about it I world mostly prominent because of what is the best book to be of because I had I had computerized I had to figure out computer program that would rate the basketball players and discuss featured and cleveland newspapers and even end of CBS Sunday news on and and and so all of that time to and then and now and here I was editor of Science magazine right on part of my senior year so so they they so they devoutly knew knew that I had been active next collectivized and so so that was and but but I think you might have been done mostly of publicity from the work for everyone from the different giving sense stated Computer Science at this point about what you're graduation in these 1960 of banking system so as to save his scientists quality that he can something if you I think it would probably named in 1962 half of the book but for example in the what is the other with somebody yeah yeah probably somebody had had use the word 15th something but it was the work of all of the soul so not the parts or as a wonderful thing in a case that I happen to be there because the world I believe that essentially on to universities in the world that trusted undergraduates to do computing and
Dartmouth and case read here and we had this very enlightened administrative and friendly who who who allowed to the the ballots not only to touch the machine but to write the software that was used by the rest of the campus and so for example you know that between my my 2nd and 3rd year I worked in the summer at the at a computer lab in which about and 2 dozen other undergraduates but we we we wrote compiler that was used from the yeah campus machine and I wrote the textbook that was used as a text in my junior Gaussian computing a series of and it wasn't really the text was a manual for how metal and hop manifold compiler but but that was that was the that was the text for the course and so on trip to my undergraduate he he allowed in all it was only me with the use of the whole bunch of us so the cost of a revolution will you know about this point in do how are you saying about genetics academics well there was no connection with the I was a math major but I had a job as a computer program and I didn't see that those worlds makes the role of as a as a computer programmer I have 1 so of what you know I you fiddle with you fiddle with your program until it worked in order to to you couldn't make it fail on and and you you tried to squeeze in a did machines were very slow and very small time so the and the name the game mostly was the worst up to to see how how many features you go on the things you could accomplish with the with the with the with within the limitations of the of the machine and and so you know we got our cakes of saying that will that and we can make the machine do more tricks than than we had believed possible the previous year but it but to the same machine and on the other hand mathematics we have this tradition of proving that correct and much more abstractions you all what you call you have axioms let you can deduce effect and be true then C has to be true and talk and so what just a different world entire and I those world enjoined from me until sometime later this talk so I didn't know there was a computer work would I mean I I knew that people were using microsoft word and and I an I also knew that that we that we had some some techniques have probably other people could use and so there was this this magazine now sitting around in the computer lab and and in or out and I was I had been writing for newspapers mean and the student injury might be so I wrote an article in this for the ACM among the communications which was a new publication at the time and explaining the compiler that we had written and however I had no idea about the intellectual property or with a lot of things it's all in excel or not I don't even reading magazine articles and so on here's something cool world the fact and so this article and totally how do it in even occur to me to mention the names of the other people really the project in wireless protocol but it but I you know I didn't know there were such that for just you really time and you do really call you by the way this moment I am a senior in college saying and so the young so so I I I realized afterward that I was getting credit for something that but I expected that I would get the credit for being the journalist something but not others the real what was the use of going to help you decide on again the next level and whereas intellectual curiosity right so that kind of an example like the most school comment on mathematics to this is the it that it's it's really dealing with the with and the things that you can write pencil paper and instead of the Things'' can continuously vary in that it gets in the explosion of don't put or differential equations much more and appealed to me what was the construction of of designs and patterns and so the when I went to grab it and I a particularly stuff charismatic teacher on it and it is indeed a visitor for the year then name bowls Russian both in my senior year out who was inspired incumbent on mathematics and so he said that you know he he said well a good place to go would be counted and can work with Marshall and so that's what I did for regret and because of what have specialization was Caltech going off of you but commentary on mathematics so expertise so so what follows from the pp was just finishing his book on term which is set at this point in life she looked your future you're expecting to be a theoretical mathematician who expect be but called teacher but my father was a teacher like when I was when I was in 1st grade I want to be a 1st grade teacher such that it is our hope to on college of becomes teachers right from and that was it and I thought maybe I would have a part time job on the side Morgan is like my father had which there was my plan so often Caltech and just Jesse here except you so use of human of and again a fortune in a short interview just what becomes a turning point in your intellectual on your test right so common the other thing that turned me to computer science is keep getting to know that by correspondence the guy named Robert Floyd have was a also Turing Award winners the data but by that somehow we got to writing it out to each other and the and that was what 1 of the very 1st people to realize that mathematics can help computer program and so he so he said you could prove that a program was correct you you know you're not only fiddle with to look and feel of that make mistakes but you could actually say that you start and you could ever have suspected and this was revolutionary and like that and I got to but he also world of war which the best leading person in the field of programming languages and write a comparison so we got they don't how many each other at a conference in Syracuse a and national Hutchinson Syracuse in in in 62 and we get off so I'm writing the respect and so then not in the meanwhile though I had played I turned on my my fellowship client in the chart that if I had National Science Foundation via the rules of fellowship but but the restriction was that you could not all of them do part-time work on that as it you had to be full-time
student and what I will but really I was consulted Bros Corporation and and you know that because I think right next to Caltech was was the greatest of group of compiler writers in the world and so I so I got into that group and for all sides graduate school I was virus with them and and consulting not not not only in terms of the design is the courageous decision that I have suggested that this distinguished religious law and you on something you heard that is telling you know don't do that because you also the process of more interesting life you yell at the time for me to remember Nobel too but in a way it was that I I wasn't there was there were various strategic was normalized to what those like the following were on but what the about the door to to think 1st of all I could see that people there was a great need for a for a for a further people to have better software and and I had this experience in such a case had been been sunlight it in developing young people who suffer so much so I was 1 of the 1 the few people in the world and that that is that you have to right compiler and we know and and other off and in the other the other you know the big picture if I was to generate 62 when when when publisher approach and so on the right book on commonly comprises of famous volunteers let's say that you know they come to you and what is it they are expecting asking you to do who write a book about compilers and it had lunch with me in and it was it was Addison-Wesley Our representative and my favorite textbooks our throughout among the undergraduate have been published by Addison-Wesley and in silk course I will in the end at yeah have been to doing a lot of writing for newspapers and things like that and so Chi-Chih this with this we just call it the me so it was a dream but you know and follow being an author before but they prevented this to this and I got home and I and I had to go you know if you tell the people that I still have somewhere and jotted down the 12 chapters that I thought we would be in book of compilers and and at the end and that was so that was my 1962 so I was what in in my 2nd year of same here right has going on and a little by the way it was is compatible with the kind of invested in time was a the necessary in Who was also another problem for you I hope cases up somebody had told me when I was very young they're gone that you go over there and that you go to in grade school for it should school for 4 years and then go to college for 4 areas and then if you wanna go further you need to code red a school for 3 years and somebody told me it took 3 years to get a PhD now I had been there and planted a new forms so so so I just haven't had trouble clocks it will set in Europe case of you know how to begin on graduation day but I looked around and there was only 1 of the guy that you read it aloud whether the test had done in 3 years the 5th and males who was also 1 of the many ways that the so if you if this guy had told me that it was going to take 5 years I would note no but when you see light up and I have to be going to write compilers result was rare unskilled that that also would be that the only that is paid for my marriage to my hunting between might between undergraduate in college yes I wrote the career component that paid 5 thousand dollars for you now the election to deflect founders of but only those of that that was a whole lot of money in those days yes this is more than the houses and so you know right from I thought I was starting university professors was 11 dollar or 2 years of my dead in communicating any place for from many words at the graduate level about whether that's in this project on the Leslie pointed out no no I come up and I just well am I I get the back of my mind is something that I would like to do and I had no idea how hard it would be and I started to work on it but it total Celtic S-League me to my 3rd year grad school they asked me to teach a class of about computers it's part of the master and and up and so I have it for for this class II I developed this the mythical computer called MIX which which would which now was going to be used to collided on all new idea use might will consult cannot help so is able to develop a few so what aspects of the book a while I was still a graduate student and I know there's some pattern of right but but still but still could the the the mathematical world proof and things like that but where the things I did a massive the more overlapping with with my computer programming and consulting activities very much at all now again famously that important to work or I think again is what you do with the task the coming of control on the whole the the chapters on server opportunities and is and somehow and that's the thought that this was this it was the functional to just use 12 chapters known that come to be don't turn out that 2 of the the each chapter over became out of a book about each social define what the president but the present table conscience for the art of computer programming you still have 12 chapters in by his book but you know I think we've got the same were not significant low-volume but but in yeah but when chapter 7 for example is probably going to fill in volume 4 A 4 B 4 C maybe part of 4 D because the that chapter 7 was about combinatorial algorithms and this whole subject exploded all almost nothing was known in 1962 about coming to the and has turned out to be the the and so important and and developed so so the the the word chapter growth of is scarcely it is that we have being misused in my book actually are you send you to the sole author of many of the multi-volume series the call the I don't you know so is it in a way similar to like well that an entire lifetime along the along party nor at more than the temporal and modal I'm going to be going in the right course which is probably just as well of so now again because of the importance of something that you have so how did you come to master the IRA of you know that OK so says and working on the and the so far from my OK so I finished my thesis and then I had and then I start which is not what
it is that on thesis was on finite geometries and of these user or beautiful mathematical patterns that but it's 1 of the only parts of mathematics and never applied to computer science from the literature this young quality the subject that we now know that you using random techniques you can do just as well so you don't need it you don't get calls complications that we have time but still enough that it does and that work is finding applications in the study of cancer and other things now in mathematics but this but not applying to computers pattern or so and so I started in in earnest to draft of the chapter on sorting for the it was actually storing was actually the hardly used in in compiler writing about I I thought it would be cool have chapter on so but anyway and because I seen that it is that there was a need for somebody to write about sort of the they didn't do a lot of from work I uninformed articles out there about it on the scene in literature so I started working sorting and but up all of a sudden that and able to use my math words are in mathematics and to learn about sorting and and and be and correspond with about Floyd who also has some good ideas about sort anathema combination so that you can also part of this and that then I had this you know where I was worried that the that by studying computer method of of the quantitatively to qualitatively I can only see that work but I could see that it 13 per cent better than this so and not just will not an that was better that was that I could quantify exactly how how were 1st and the 3rd World an and it well actually Aha moment had come in the summer of 62 and was writing a Fortran compiler and I was in this dividing that compiler 1 other thing to compare has to do is is of you know that all of the the program makes up the name of 4 quantity in its program and I and the computer has to figure out how best look up the name and see if that name has occurred before and and and the and the method used in in this inside the compilers called hashing out and so so that there was a technique that would work and the small computers we had in those days it would work it would work especially well so that that would be that would be able to decide what do work minimal what what identify the success so many has a name I know that ALPA shares something like this in computer looks up and says yeah that that's something that at that time that I know this is a certain part of the program so time there was a there was a this hashing method that they had but it worked but nobody knew how how well it worked and and there was a real that some students at Princeton had worked on and try to solve this problem successfully of but I took 1 and 1 day of words are from right and compiler because it was and continues Wilkinson Newsweek just throwing out cold so I spent a day saying and 55 and figure out how fast hashing and again I got lucky of and an outcome was able to to solve the problem and used a different kind of mathematics and see you for and so I I I I wrote a few pages of notes on it and and then it occurred to me you know this could be a lifetime of the of of using mathematics just to see how good computer algorithms so that was a really there was really about to me the most important change in direction is most of the time evolution of thought have been presently this is a lot of questions were that to the conversation with yourself or conversations with others is is it is it mostly along with social inquiry that year preceding on this vocational did with were great question of the high that do it was mostly just going downhill the but follows but also has instilled in this idea of service and and and and and teach so it felt so you you look at it as another struggle against people by the struggle against the ignorance off and not to events it invents knowledge and and can't something that that other people can you and Endre and so on who through here I have this summer do you know of analyzes of and I really can't say well I you know there was there was a young subject at the time call queuing theory where people had taken a particular kind of algorithm will of studying people's who were standing in line and and figuring out the characteristics of of what we know where we wish to service people in line and that was the only existing on the algorithm accepted you sort of have an analog of and so on and so on so we no here I took caching and I was able to hashing out the analyzer and and so there must be there must be hundreds of other important algorithms and the that could be analyzed and so this could be in this could be something that would would be you know really of of service to the people in the sky this to develop this kind of mathematical theory that had this process the the general things that course also complex but among the other achievements we all know courses if you will the you're correlated to the elegance of typesetting in in this new form of communication and what such a map will your achievement of a kind of lasting what archival an elevated price it is something that you must celebrated how that can't be concurrent world park and American could who could introduce it into 2 esthetics and and what can we took from classes together and so I got to I got to understand more about that but was used by at most for my wife would say yes but also as they say I I loved by Addison-Wesley textbooks when I was a undergraduate and up and they had in the Julie publishing house that had their own their in-house composition and and and design the publishers who were were of social and and so on can you know I had you know I had developed some kind of you know just as a reader of books that appealed to me I developed little the sense that way up and so when I was approached by a solicitor write books I was thinking of OK great I can have my books you could just good of stand-up then there was a revolution in the typesetting world of which went away from metal type and and no pandered and all people who knew how to do it with the old equipment were dying off and
not on the new machines had not been adapted to to mathematics of technical technical work and so on and so like so what I thought I had a revised of my books for the for the the 2nd edition of volume 2 the proofs came back and made me made me sick because it was just extremely poor it was it was not nowhere near him yeah looking like the books that will be for and and I think unbelievably bad the the subscript from a different style of type than the than other parts of the formula and letters of crooked and and and we really there was so little market for for technical typesetting yes that's that have only all the publishers had just at a conference of the they're paying customers so so I was a Gowers Cup in in this there until I I happen to work seat they an example of a a book that had been types of a new kind of machine which was entirely digital entirely made up of of of a black and white dots and let that the and this machine gun was able to produce books that word that look like the the best of metal report if if 1 more just world computer programs to to to cite where the lecture going and with the way to go on and on so once they saw that it only to computer programming and to solve my problem and I decided to spend a year figuring out how the latest programs it is time again and on I underestimated it into Canada so the 2 of 11 and was talking about politicians and computer Science you're both of them it's an important particularly that acts to use words think in elementary and the and phrases that are often used up so much like computer science is certainly seems to me that search for elements seems to inform not only in Europe your intellectual lack that you're usually back in your contributions to computers that there's I the it is the the S. at the end that notion of beauty is he is inherent to move that I do in mathematics as well as and then I in 1 of the reasons like all life of The Art of Computer Programming was because it had some mysterious here that has its own it has someone I so something about the time the beauty of it in the fall Europe we continue to use because we can't really sort of standard which forced marriage form part of a lot of things that you want with a title in which computing is inherited the title of it must be the only 1 of the world I know I don't think so no flows through the this is the right year well and we put that that mock my trend that she was actually about about computer programming as an art title and end up I addressed a question there what is the word got me when and what it means to something of art and the science and there's all kinds of of strange things like in life is clever but is it art and so on but the the word really means I had read more calls to artisans and artificial iris yes along and it means it means something that's not nature some in something that that human beings have add yes through to the natural world but 2 a but then not all of them in Germany could have the same the same and and I but then it often of needs than the fine arts and and and connect and connects to this type these use of elegance and and beauty the but really it's mostly means something that's not in the natural world so the science and it has its it on the talk we had lot in in another very broad question 1 that you of and you had you wonder as forest how face operationalizing it's patterns that back to a more precise and you'd like to report about this on is it unusual in your field profession to to lower the phase as well science of the I well it's not it it turned to save people don't Gorell do you don't broadcast history very much but it but it but it is not being not in the academic world is determined more people who broadcast their lack of face I sit around and book and so on I have this great opportunity when people but MIT asked me if I would come in 1999 and then give a series of lectures and that that would that would not be and talk about the relations between faith and science and and they had it this was the 2nd director through Europe a program that they had had but but this year they want they want in the previous years they had just a guest lecture of bunch but this time I was supposed to do all 6 on its and sort of world in 1 do you know what better if several do some like this what better place to do it in Boston and at what MIT because they had also all these great the theological school sort of online and Harvard and the from where I had to do we were ahead to spend some time so I I don't know I know I couldn't resist the temptation however only it's telling invitations but the so so so that I gave these lectures and lectures were where the owner have beats and and about 30 minutes of work and that I prepared in an all that the word just answer the questions of all the people in the audience that of young to cover the whole thing so so the this was this was transcribed into book but where it did you know I will date overalls in general I think well of Computer Sciences is wonderful mathematics is wonderful but it's not everything and an by the lips and I I like the fact that in with mathematics I could get to I can get 2 different answers but also of the I am happy that there are things that are there out beyond my mom my canon and the questions and there were no the use of 2 but mysteries that I can't endemic in more more more about I would to I can win the I will be happy if I if I if everything was a mystery but I am often also that you nothing is maybe that's of of ways to think about it in some ways insights lots of those in power of Mystery'' kind of you won't know the irritation with Mr. Foley and who recently that you you'll want to sell something then we can solve everything yes and so on and so on and you know what I find the opposite you know when I learned something new that can also learn more than I don't know and the
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