Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About
a series of public lectures about interactions
between faith and computer science
Donald E. Knuth
Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming
MIT 34-101 (50 Vassar Street)
Lecture 1 (October 6): Introduction.
- Why I am unqualified to give these lectures.
- Why the lectures might be interesting anyway.
3:16 project, a turning point in my life.
Lecture 2 (October 13): Randomization and Religion.
- The advantages of unbiased sampling as a way to gain insight
into a complicated subject.
- Dangers to avoid when using this approach.
Lecture 3 (October 27): Language Translation.
- How to translate Bible verses without knowing Hebrew or Greek.
- The surprising rewards of such attempts, even though the task
is difficult or impossible.
Lecture 4 (November 3): Aesthetics.
- Scientific work as an artistic endeavor.
- The deep influence that beautiful presentation can have on our
understanding of texts.
- Illustrations by many of the world's greatest masters of calligraphy.
Panel Discussion (November 17): Creativity, Spirituality, and Computer Science.
- Panelists are Mitch Kapor (Lotus), Guy Steele (Sun), Manuela Veloso (CMU), and DEK (Stanford),
- moderated by Harry Lewis (Harvard).
Lecture 5 (December 1): Glimpses of God.
- What I think I learned about God from the 3:16 project.
- What I think I learned about theology from the 3:16 project.
- The difference between the two.
Lecture 6 (December 8): God and Computer Science.
- Computer programmers as creators of new universes.
- Computational complexity as a way to approach questions of
free will and omnipotence.
- Other concepts of computer science that may give insights