Paul L. Snyder on 4 Jan 2016 08:40:17 -0800

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[PLUG] [plug-announce] Wed, Jan 4, 2016: PLUG Central - "The Historical 'How' and 'Why' of Hash Tables" by Mark Jason Dominus (7pm at USP)

PLUG Central will be meeting on Wednesday, January 4, at USP in 
Philadelpha, beginning at 7pm. Directions to the meeting location 
at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia can be found at 
the end of this email. 

This month's meeting features a talk by Mark Jason Dominus. Mark
is well-known as the author of _Higher-Order Perl_, among his other

Mark has been a regular speaker at PLUG, giving a winter talk
for twelve of the last fifteen years.  This year's topic will be
"The Historical 'How' and 'Why' of Hash Tables".

  Hash tables, dictionaries, and other associative data
  structures are so ubiquitous in modern programming languages
  that we can forget that at one time they were fresh and
  innovative. How did we live without them? Not too well, as I
  will describe.

  I will explain how hashes work in general and compare the
  implementations in the Perl and Python programming
  languages. I'll also discuss the non-hash implementation of
  similar language features in the earlier languages Lisp
  (1960ish) and SNOBOL (1965ish).

  This talk will be suitable for:

      people who have never heard of a hash table
      people who know what it is but not how it works
      people who know how it works but are interested in history 

The meeting will be held at our usual location: 

University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP) 
Griffith Hall (Room "C" or "A", look for the signs) 
600 South 43rd Street 
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495 

USP is located in University City. Driving directions are 
available at, or, both of which have an aerial 
view of the campus buildings. USP is also easily accessible by 
public transportation. 

There will be an open Question & Answer session at 7PM, prior to 
the main presentation at 8PM. This is an open meeting; all are 
welcome and encouraged to attend. 

Usually, a number of members get together after the meeting at a 
nearby restaurant for food and perhaps a beer or two. Come join 
the camaraderie! 
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