This page lists some of the book I've been reading. One's mind is shaped by the books one reads.
July, 2023 - July, 2024
Game Theory, A Very Short Introduction
Game Theory is more than the Prisoners' Dilemma. Learning new concepts like Evolutionary Game Theory, Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibrium, and so on.
Explanatory Computational Models in Cognitive Neuroscience
First time reading a in-progress textbook. It draws nice parallels between cognitive psychology and AI. Here is a review.
The content aligns closely with standard neuroscience texts, yet it distinguishes itself through more recent citations and the authors' careful approach to stating general rules without oversimplification.
One of my favorites is Seung's metaphor comparing the brain's structure (the synapses connecting neurons) to a riverbed and the brain's activity (consciousness) to the water flowing through it.
July, 2022 - July, 2023
An Introduction to Systems Biology
When a physisist studies biology, everything becomes a system (or circuits, or program).
How did the tech war between the US and China start? History can help us predict the future.
What will be the future of our civilization? Should we view AI as a threat or our offspring?
A Thousand Brains
I've learned the mini-column theory from this book. I feel like I understand the brain better after reading it.
“Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!”
It's a fun book to read with my son, though it was embarrassing when we read the chapter "You Just Ask Them?"
Our Mathematical Universe
This book makes me think deeply about the nature of reality.
Cognitive Design for Artificial Minds
A nice history of how AI and cognitive psychology are related.
This book teaches people how to build habit-forming software. I'd like to know the dirty tricks so that I won't be hooked.
This is a popular science book about attention. Attention is an important part of cognitive psychology.
Interesting to see how science is defined in China. When Chinese policy makers say 'scientific', they sometimes just mean 'correct'.
Memory is an important part of cognitive psychology, along with perception, attention, etc. It's quite inspiring to AI researchers.
Cognitive psychology is the study of mind. Rather than relied on behaviorism, cognitive psychology looks into the mind directly.
The Psychology Book
DK's books are always a great start. I'd like to know more about psychology.
Symmetry and the Monster
Symmetry is beatiful. What's symmetry in general? What is the extreme case of symmetry?
A Mathematician's Apology
Exploring the beauty of mathematics. People always say math is beatiful, but what do they mean exactly?
Number the Stars
My son's book. I read it with him. How did kids respond to the war in the West in WW2? How was it different from Chinese kids in WW2?
The Journal of Mr Samuel Holmes
What was it like when the British Empire met the Chinese Qing Dynasty?
What happened in China? How to understand Chinese culture? History is a sensitive topic in China, but this book nailed it.
A Little History of the United States
What happened in the US? How to understand US culture?
What did Mao know at his time? Why Mao's ideas sound similar to Western philosophy?
An Illustrated Brief History of Western Philosophy
Philosophy is hard to understand, but it's the foundation of civilization. What's the difference between Western and Eastern philosophy?
Hackers' spirit was what I was looking for when I was a teenager.
A Tour of C++
I'd like to understand a little more about the difference between different programming languages.
July, 2021 - July, 2022
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
Before, I learned a lot metaphors, but now, I understand the basics of quantum mechanics in a quantitative way.
Being You, A New Science of Consciousness
Some people think that consciousness is not a scientific topic, much like how the behaviorists once dismissed the study of the mind. Of course, I'd like to know more about consciousness.
The Age of Insight
We often take some facts for granted, but this has not always been the case. The author, a great neuroscientist, showed us his understanding of how the brain works and its to art.
Quantum, Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality
I wanted to understand quantum mechanics, but it's hard. So I started with its history. After reading this, I think I am on Einstein's side.
Journey through Genius
It's a history of mathematics. I was quite delighted to meet those geniuses within its pages.
The Code Breaker
It's the story of the invention of CRISPR. For outsiders, it's a great to know how a renowed scientist came to be, and how scientific community, particularly modern biology community, operates.
Project Hail Mary
It's a great sci-fi book. I love the concept of Astrophage, the microorganism that consumes starlight. To me, the hallmark of a great sci-fi book is that it proposes new scientific concepts that even scientists in the field have not considered before. The idea of treating the celestial bodies as living creatures is amazing!