
Content by Le Serf
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,898,561
Helpful Votes: 57


Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by Le Serf







21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars
This is not pure green tea, 22 April 2013
This is 1g of green tea and 4g of organic brown rice solids. It has a brown sickly color and doesn't taste like proper matcha tea. But it is priced like other matcha teas. Avoid this.









4.0 out of 5 stars
A quality introduction, 3 April 2010
Dynamical Processes on Complex Networks was very useful to me in my research (I'm a PhD student in theoretical neuroscience). Excellent coverage of smallworld networks, branching processes, etc. I only wish the authors had covered directed networks with similar detail. The mathematics remains at a fairly basic level through most of the treatment (i.e. linear algebra, differential equations, and of course some graph theory), but occasionally gets complicated when the authors stray into statistical physics. An enjoyable book on a fascinating topic.









36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Lovely, 23 April 2009
The Haskell Road is a truly enjoyable little book.
What it is not: HR is not one of those vast towers of paper that introductory computer science books seem to have become. The kind of book that's called "Discrete Mathematics" and essentially contains all the stuff that nobody wants to teach but everyone wants you to know. Those books and the courses they support are often a student's first introduction to thinking about computing, and it's shameful. They are a patchwork of misaligned topics  and the students' thinking begins to resemble them, unsurprisingly.
Rather, the Haskell road is elegant  clean, concise, yet informal and approachable. Like the title says, it is an introduction to Logic, Maths and Programming. The book takes the enlightened viewpoint that these are unified concepts. The book begins by introducing basic Haskell syntax, and all of a sudden, we are implementing a prime number test. Simple; yes, but we also learn how to _prove_ that a procedure is a prime number test.
This approach continues throughout the book. The ideas of formal logic and deductive reasoning are made approachable by the fact that we implement the rules in Haskell. Sometimes, the exercise is in Haskell, and the answer is in logic. The point is that the reader is made from the first instant to see the equivalence, the shared foundations between these different means of expressing thought.
This is also one of the few books that teaches, explicitly, the means of proof. It does not do so abstractly, but quite straightforwardly, using the tools of formal logic. A few somewhat difficult chapters are the result (24); but they are greatly enlightened by enjoyable exercises. This treatment of proof was a first for me  though I am currently a graduate student, it made clear much that had been opaque to me. I read the chapters and did the exercises in a sitting; the following day (literally) I was finding my quantum computing proofs easier than I had the day before. Few books are able to have such a direct, jolting impact  indeed, that experience compelled me to write this review.
The exercises are not too difficult nor too easy; they are not all gathered at the end but rather placed in exactly the right place. Five minutes attempting an exercise is usually enough to see the trick of it. Some of them take seconds, however, and some take quite a long time. Those are marked as such. The exercises are the glue that sticks the book's ideas into the reader's mind, and it works.
The basic ideas of programming, like lists and functions are brilliantly intertwined with the equivalent ideas in mathematics, namely set theory. Haskell's lazy evaluation enables us to start puzzling about infinite sets early on. Throughout, one learns a reasoned, careful, elegant approach to programming. Too many students learn to program by throwing Java API calls at the problem until most of the output is correct. A more thorough, more disciplined mind can go much further, and the Haskell Road seeks to develop this.
I can't say enough good things about this book, so I will stop now. If you have been doing computer science for 30 years, or if it's your first day, or (especially!) if you're a programmer that wants to learn to do "real math"  this is the book for you.


Page: 1
