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Compared to What?: An Introduction to the Anaylsis of Algorithms (Principles of Computer Science Series) [Hardcover]

by Gregory J.E. Rawlins
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 15, 1991 071678243X 978-0716782438 0
compared to what? covers all the basics of algorithm analysis but it does not just supply algorithms to memorize - it lets you guide your students through the process of breaking down and solving aigolithmic problems. The invaluable analytic skills developed through this innovative approach will appiv to anj, programming assignment-no matter the size of the problem or the language and macnine used. The book does not assume a high degree of familiarity with discrete mathematics-in fact, all mathematical concepts crucial to algorithm analysis are explained in the appendices. Each chapter centers on a basic problem and works through a variety of available . options for its solution rather than declaring a single best answer. Within the chapters, carefully orchestrated. 'Pauses'-helpful questions and strategy suggestions-point students to workable solutions and to increasinglv more advanced variations and applications. End-of-chapter 'Codas' restate each chapter's major themes and guide the transition into the next set of problems. Compared to What? will help students analyze problems, determine what needs to be optimized, and pinpoint inefficiencies and inaccuracies in their programs. Its fr-iendlv but challenging style, inventive examples 'and analogies, descriptions of state-of-the-art applications, and pragmatic focus will help you teach students to create algorithmic solutions-not merely memorize them.

Product Details

  • Series: Principles of Computer Science Series
  • Hardcover: 536 pages
  • Publisher: W. H. Freeman (November 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071678243X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0716782438
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #591,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book August 19, 1999
By A Customer
I disagree with the first comment. While I know more about the algorithms and analysys than author probably expected about reader, I found the book interesting and entertaining. It forced me to think again about the old known thinks, brought me new views and new analogies between them. This is very important.
Covers surprisingly wide range of ideas from various subjects. Contains analysis, complexity theory, logic, information theory, probability and more. Don't go to the depth but gives you clear idea what is the topic about.
And I like the style book is written. It force you to read it just because it is fun even in situations I would never read serious algorithm analysis textbook.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on A. Analysis March 30, 2000
I am a senior in computer science & I'm taking my first course on Algorithm Analysis. Our instructor is using another book. Every year he picks a different book. I found this at our library & I've never read a computer book on this subject matter that is so useful. The theme of the book is it guides you thru "thinking about" the topic & all the other ramifications of doing things. You'll find yourself washing dishes differently after this book. Otherwise, if you looking for a better book "Introduction to Algorithms," Corman, Rivest, ..; is the definative text. And of course Knuth's monumental tome.
Reader from the Windy State
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I strongly disagree with the first comment on this item, entitled "'Cutesy-poo' approach detracts from the content."

As a student in the Computer Science major at Yale University in spring 1994, I used this textbook in Professor Michael Fischer's course, "Computer Science 365b: Design and Analysis of Algorithms."

This book was a welcome breath of fresh air compared to every other title on algorithms that I had ever seen. It described how the study of algorithms need not be daunting, by explaining that every problem at some point did not have a solution, and described in great detail the exploratory process for finding solutions for designing and analyzing algorithms.

Further, it approached the topic in a fun and humorous manner, with numerous quotations and illustrations from works by Lewis Carroll.

It proved an ideal textbook for overcoming the formidable topic of designing and analyzing algorithms for students lacking self-confidence in this topic. This textbook proved to be a key tool for conquering this required course.

Benjamin L. Russell
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making algorithms interesting September 24, 2003
Algorithms can be very dry and boring. Anyone who has had a boring tenured professor read directly from his textbook during class understands this.
Rawlins accurately captures the essence of solving theoretical problems, and presents it in a way accesible to a computer science major. (Relevant at the senior or 1st year graduate level) You'll come away with less depth than the Knuth title, but much more appreciation and understanding for the How and Why of problem solving.
This book is one of the very few that survived the trip from classroom to permanent bookshelf.
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