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How Algorithmic Thinking Can Help You Think Smarter

Ali Almossawi

April 19, 2017

"What's fascinating is that Babylonian tablets from the second millennium BCE reveal that ancient Babylonians wrote down their procedures for determining things like, say, compound interest or the width and length of a cistern given its height and volume using algorithms. And all throughout history, and in a variety of domains, one can see approaches to problems that resemble what we refer to today as algorithms.

That realization is intriguing for a number of reasons. One, it shows that this way of thinking about problems is rooted in ancient history. Two, it shows that it is domain-agnostic.

And so, if one were to consider how best to make algorithms compelling to the broadest audience, it seems only natural to strive to not sell the field short, by describing it in its narrowest form, but to rather frame it as a tool for thinking, and a general-purpose one at that. One that can be applied to everyday problems that may have nothing at all to do with computers."

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