[Book Review] The Golden Ticket: P, NP, and the Search for the Impossible by Lance Fortnow

The Golden Ticket: P, NP, and the Search for the ImpossibleThe Golden Ticket: P, NP, and the Search for the Impossible by Lance Fortnow

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Writing a Popular Science book is tough work. Very few authors seem to be able to walk the line between too technical for the layperson and technical enough to keep the more advanced reader interested. (James Gleick and Simon Singh seem to do this effortlessly.) Put on top of that the tackling a topic as abstract as P =/!= NP and the task is formidable indeed. Mr. Fortnow tries very hard to make it accessible, but errs a little too far on the side of simplifying things for the layperson without leaving enough meat for the technically inclined. That being said, his somewhat light-hearted treatment of the P vs NP problem is enjoyable, and this short little book has some nice adaptations of what the problem means, but in the end, it left this reader hoping he would have gone a layer or two deeper.

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