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Making awk program work as advertised

I downloaded the example code for "sed & awk." When I try to use the byState awk program as described on p. 24, with the command "sed -f nameState list | byState," I get this error message: "-bash: byState: command not found.”
A coworker withno knowledge of sed and awk gave me the answer: preface "byState" with "./," i.e., "sed -f nameState list | ./byState."
Why does this work but not the book's "sed -f nameState list | byState"?
OS X 10.11.2.
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