Panos Louridas

Panos Louridas is Associate Professor in the Department of Management Science and Technology at the Athens University of Economics and Business. He is the author of Real World Algorithms: A Beginner's Guide (MIT Press).

  • Algorithms

    Algorithms

    Panos Louridas

    An accessible introduction to algorithms, explaining not just what they are but how they work, with examples from a wide range of application areas.

    Digital technology runs on algorithms, sets of instructions that describe how to do something efficiently. Application areas range from search engines to tournament scheduling, DNA sequencing, and machine learning. Arguing that every educated person today needs to have some understanding of algorithms and what they do, in this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Panos Louridas offers an introduction to algorithms that is accessible to the nonspecialist reader. Louridas explains not just what algorithms are but also how they work, offering a wide range of examples and keeping mathematics to a minimum.

    After discussing what an algorithm does and how its effectiveness can be measured, Louridas covers three of the most fundamental applications areas: graphs, which describe networks, from eighteenth-century problems to today's social networks; searching, and how to find the fastest way to search; and sorting, and the importance of choosing the best algorithm for particular tasks. He then presents larger-scale applications: PageRank, Google's founding algorithm; and neural networks and deep learning. Finally, Louridas describes how all algorithms are nothing more than simple moves with pen and paper, and how from such a humble foundation rise all their spectacular achievements.

    • Paperback $15.95 £12.99
  • Real-World Algorithms

    Real-World Algorithms

    A Beginner's Guide

    Panos Louridas

    An introduction to algorithms for readers with no background in advanced mathematics or computer science, emphasizing examples and real-world problems.

    Algorithms are what we do in order not to have to do something. Algorithms consist of instructions to carry out tasks—usually dull, repetitive ones. Starting from simple building blocks, computer algorithms enable machines to recognize and produce speech, translate texts, categorize and summarize documents, describe images, and predict the weather. A task that would take hours can be completed in virtually no time by using a few lines of code in a modern scripting program. This book offers an introduction to algorithms through the real-world problems they solve. The algorithms are presented in pseudocode and can readily be implemented in a computer language.

    The book presents algorithms simply and accessibly, without overwhelming readers or insulting their intelligence. Readers should be comfortable with mathematical fundamentals and have a basic understanding of how computers work; all other necessary concepts are explained in the text. After presenting background in pseudocode conventions, basic terminology, and data structures, chapters cover compression, cryptography, graphs, searching and sorting, hashing, classification, strings, and chance. Each chapter describes real problems and then presents algorithms to solve them. Examples illustrate the wide range of applications, including shortest paths as a solution to paragraph line breaks, strongest paths in elections systems, hashes for song recognition, voting power Monte Carlo methods, and entropy for machine learning. Real-World Algorithms can be used by students in disciplines from economics to applied sciences. Computer science majors can read it before using a more technical text.

    • Hardcover $45.00 £38.00