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The loose theme underlying my writing is the use of science and technology to improve the way we think. The essays I’m proudest of are The future of science, Is scientific publishing about to be disrupted?, and Lisp as the Maxwell’s equations of software. I’ve collected links to my writing below, organized into four categories: technology; open science; physics and mathematics; and thoughts on how to work. I’ve also written two books, Reinventing Discovery, a manifesto for the idea that publicly funded science should be open science, and a textbook (with Ike Chuang) on Quantum Computation and Quantum Information.


Big ideas

Lisp as the Maxwell’s equations of software
If correlation doesn’t imply causation, then what does?
The Church-Turing-Deutsch Principle


Introduction to PageRank (also as a video)
Building our PageRank intuition (also as a video)
The PageRank distribution for the web
Using your laptop to compute PageRank for millions of webpages
How changing the structure of the web changes PageRank


Documents as geometric objects: how to rank documents for full-text search (addendum)
How to combine multiple notions of relevance in search (addendum)

Distributed computing

Write your first MapReduce program in 20 minutes
Using MapReduce to compute PageRank
Consistent Hashing
A Number-Theoretic Approach to Consistent Hashing

Data mining and machine learning

Introduction to statistical machine translation
Implementing statistical machine translation using MapReduce

Open science

The Future of Science
Is Scientific Publishing About to be Disrupted?
Massively collaborative mathematics
The new Einsteins will be scientists who share
Science Beyond Individual Understanding
Shirky’s Law and why (most) social software fails
Kasparov versus the World
Open access: a short summary
Intellectual property, automated contracts, and the free flow of information

Physics and mathematics

Ordered in rough order of difficulty, from non-technical to technical. My research papers may be found here.

Quantum computing for everyone
Why the world needs quantum mechanics
Simple rules for a complex quantum world
Quantum computing for the determined
What’s wrong with those quantum cryptosystems?
If correlation doesn’t imply causation, then what does?
Small world networks
Arrow’s theorem
Quantum gravity
Expander graphs
Linear matrix equations
Operator monotone and operator convex functions
Fermions and the Jordan-Wigner transform
Introduction to Yang-Mills theories

Thoughts on how to work

Six rules for rewriting
Extreme thinking
Principles of effective research