Silicon Valley Code Camp : October 19 & 20, 2019session
You Can Count on Numbers
This is an informal history of numbers, from bundled sticks near the
Nile to the supercomputer in your pocket. The machines know only
numbers, and the way they think about numbers influences the design of
our programming languages, which influences the way we think about numbers.
About This Session
Fundamentally, the only thing that computers can do is manipulate
numbers. In many ways, the computer's numbers act much like the numbers
we were taught in school. But in some (perhaps surprising) ways, they
behave very differently. Disastrous bugs have resulted from lack of deep
understanding of the differences. Most programmers are not trained or
even warned about these differences, making them a danger to themselves
This talk will look at the nature and history of numbers, with
recommendations for how we can make better numbers in the future.