Despite its name, many programmers have never heard of dynamic programming. In all fairness, it is not really programming in that sense of the word, rather it is a mathematical method for dividing problems into smaller subproblems and then combing those parts to form an optimal solution. The “programming” portion of “dynamic programming” probably shares more in common with “television programming,” since they both involve using tables to organize data. The technique is taught in advanced computer science classes, so computer scientists and software engineers should be familiar with the technique.
Dynamic programming is a general technique which involves four basic steps: determine the structure of an optimal solution; recursively define values of the optimal solution; compute the optimal solution; and, if you need to know the optimal path in addition to the computed optimal solution value, construct the value formed by the path. The code on this page shows all of these parts, so it may help in understanding the technique.
The world has recently experienced an economic depression the likes of which have not been seen since the Great Depression. World leaders have been struggling for over three years to keep this economic calamity from destroying social institutions and precipitating war as the last one did. Of the tools and techniques that were used in the 1930s to restore American economic prosperity there is one that has been neglected. Not only has this tool remained unused during the current depression, but it has been actively attacked. That tool is organized labor.
Like other labor movements, the American labor movement began to appear with the onset of industrialization. In its early years American labor was weak, decentralized, and probably not classifiable as a movement. It was not until the Great Depression that unionization gained the institutional acceptance that it needed to truly become a movement. However, as Americans learned with the “Nobel Experiment” of Prohibition, laws and institutional changes cannot alter society without the acceptance of the people. The 1936 Akron Rubber Strike marks the moment when the ideas of policy makers met the hands of labor and the American labor movement began its ascent.
It can be demonstrated that the 1936 Akron Rubber Strike was a pivotal event by examining the changed attitude of Goodyear’s management team. Prior to the rubber strike Goodyear felt that it had the upper hand, while afterwards management’s tone was much more conciliatory. The chronology of events will establish that this change in attitude was caused by the workers themselves and not simply foisted upon the company and its employees by “professional strike leaders” as Goodyear’s president at the time asserted.1
|Paul W. Litchfield (via Summit Memory)|
I am not the type of person who is normally enthralled with famous people whom I do not know, but I am truly saddened by the passing of Steve Jobs. It could just be that I am huge fan of his company’s products, after all some of those products led me to where I am today. The first computer I used was an Apple IIe (for playing the Oregon Trail), and HyperCard on the Macintosh is what sparked my interest in computer programming. Of course I know that Steve Jobs could not have create these products without teams of intelligent and dedicated individuals, but based upon the history of Apple it seems that Steve provided the environment which allowed these people to excel.