The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-4A Boxed Set
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2013
Dr. Yale Patt once told me that anybody who reads through these volumes and completes all the exercises will become an incredibly valuable software developer, and thinker in general. After spending a few weeks with these books, I realize that he was correct, although completing all of the exercises may be impossible in any reasonable amount of time.

Do yourself a favor. Buy these books, read through them, and try to complete the exercises. I promise you will become a significantly better programmer, regardless of your current skill level.
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485 of 598 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2011
Since reviews of the book content can be found elsewhere, I thought I'd review the actual collection that I bought - these four books and the box that they came in.

They are beautiful, the off-white coloured dust jackets make a pleasing change to the other pure white books that I have on my desk, and the box sets the set apart from everything else.

Also, since purchasing this set, the following things have happened.

1) My IQ increased by 1 point as soon as I placed the box on my bookshelf
2) The Women in my IT department increased their rating of me by 1.5. Apparently I'm now an 8 (9 if I take my glasses off) my colleagues report that this is a 0.5 increase in rating over a non-boxed collection of these books.
3) I have found that taking one book out, opening to a random page and inhaling deeply, when combined with a double-shot coffee, will ensure good spirits and coding karma for at least the next 4 hours.

My only complaint about this set is the fact that they are fairly snugly fit in the box. this requires actually tipping the box forward to select a book, you cannot fit your finger over the top of any one book to pull it out. The exaggerated action of doing this, however invokes jealous looks and dreamy eyes from my male and female/gay colleagues respectively so is worth it.

in short: buy this set!
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66 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2011
I had read Knuth in college a couple of decades ago, as part of a course. Reading the books again after all these year, without the academic pressure - Just curling up in bed, on a Saturday afternoon, opening just about any chapter, marveling at the sheer beauty of the algorithms Knuth has put together, and the way Knuth has put them together - is such a pleasure

This set is sure to be a standard reference book on your wall. I bought mine because of that last volume, which was not available in the book store near me. I plan to take my time to read through volumes 1-3, at leisure over the next several weekends, when I get a few hours to spare at home, before I hit that last volume.

I was expecting a book with a good glossy cover (talk about judging a book by its cover!). The contents are simply fabulous, and the print quality and the paper inside are great.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2013
I am a Computer Science major and am currently working through calculus classes. These books definitely require someone who knows their math to read. This is pure Computer Science blended with higher level mathematics. Come prepared!
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40 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2012
I decided to read these back to front. It has been a slow process due to how dense each sentence is. There is no filler or fluff. Having Google next to me helps whenever I have gotten stuck on words or meanings. Most searchers are math concepts that I have to review. If you have the drive, I recommend reading these. The book is like jaw breaker. You can't just quickly chew the information, you have to slowly melt the information.

But I've heard they make good reference books as well.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2013
I purchased this set for my son's birthday. He is a computer science grad and really wanted to have this definitive collection. When the collection arrived I checked it out. This is a thorough series covering everything you could want. What a great reference. Better yet, my son was extremely happy to receive it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2014
I will not comment on the content, as this is discussed in many other reviews and articles.
This particular set is well-made, with the pages a nice thickness, the cover pretty resilient, and a sturdy cardboard case for the entire set. The pages aren't glossy, which helps me to read them, and there are no obvious smears or other printing mishaps in the text. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2014
Donald Knuth, 'nough said. The books are an excellent place to start learning about computer programming. I feel you need to have good background in math to understand certain concepts. I think computer science majors will need this once they are in their junior year when they have the foundations of programming concepts down. I can't wait for the next book. It isn't just a cook book, its a learning device.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2015
The reviews claiming this is not light reading couldn't be more correct. I consider myself to be an intelligent and experienced software engineer, but the things contained in this book is for computer scientists which a VERY STRONG math background including discrete math and calculus. Could be suitable for doctorate type of classes. A great reference to own, but don't expect to understand everything in this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2014
These volumes (except for the last one) were first written years ago and the coverage shows it. Many topics are out of date and hopefully promised future editions will provide substantial updates. The writing is interesting, but unnecessary complicated. Cormen and Sedgewick explain the same concepts in a much better way. Mathematics and assembly use is excessive.

The books' going on wild tangents and exploring all aspects of a topic is what makes them priceless. Every programmer should read them as a right of passage, but there is no point to keep them as reference or try to learn from them for the first time.
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