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
Stanford University
Wednesdays, 4:30--6:00pm
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.
The 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 about divinity.

Don Knuth's home page

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional