February 13, 2016
How does Google work? | Denison University
An interactive session led by Dr. Ashwin Lall
Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Denison University
Have you ever thought about how Google searches work? Or how Youtube decides what videos you might like to see next? They use algorithms -- step-by-step instructions and rules people make up to tell computers how to do things.
The best algorithms can use just a few steps to solve a lot of similar problems. An okay algorithm could tell Youtube how to check whether you just watched a cat video, and, if you did, to show you some more cat videos. But then the people at Youtube would have to write another algorithm in case you had watched a dog video, and another for bear videos, and so on. That is boring and tedious. So instead the people at Youtube use a mix of logic and creativity to come up with really good algorithms that work for all sorts of videos.
In this session, we will start with some background on how the Internet works. Then we will explore some of the algorithms that help you enjoy it. Finally, you will get to write and try out your own algorithms.
Dr. Ashwin Lall is an assistant professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Denison University. Originally from Calcutta, India, he studied math and computer science at Colgate University before earning a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Rochester and doing research for two years at Georgia Tech. He teaches computer science classes about game design, algorithms, the theory of computation, and how programming and problem-solving skills can be applied in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and digital media. He enjoys research in the area of algorithms for Big Data. His research is supported in part by the National Science Foundation (CNS 1217758).
Locations subject to change, updates will be provided closer to event date.