Hard Drives vs. Hard Drugs

How an engineer is making computer models to tackle addiction

3 min read

What’s a nice boy from MIT know about narcotics?

During his doctoral student days at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jonathan Caulkins’s professors told him that mathematical modeling methods used in operations research could solve any problem. So he whittled humanity’s 10 biggest challenges down to the one that was both quantifiable and not yet addressed by engineers: drug addiction. He then spent a summer rolling with the police in Hartford, Conn., so he could meet the city’s drug dealers in person and grill them about their business.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
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A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
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You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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