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Computers & Typesetting, Volume D: Metafont: The Program Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0201134384 ISBN-10: 0201134381 Edition: 1st

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Computers & Typesetting, Volume D: Metafont: The Program + Computers & Typesetting, Volume E: Computer Modern Typefaces + Computers & Typesetting, Volume C: The Metafont Book (Book v)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (January 11, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201134381
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201134384
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,622,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Donald E. Knuth was born on January 10, 1938 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He studied mathematics as an undergraduate at Case Institute of Technology, where he also wrote software at the Computing Center. The Case faculty took the unprecedented step of awarding him a Master's degree together with the B.S. he received in 1960. After graduate studies at California Institute of Technology, he received a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1963 and then remained on the mathematics faculty. Throughout this period he continued to be involved with software development, serving as consultant to Burroughs Corporation from 1960-1968 and as editor of Programming Languages for ACM publications from 1964-1967.

He joined Stanford University as Professor of Computer Science in 1968, and was appointed to Stanford's first endowed chair in computer science nine years later. As a university professor he introduced a variety of new courses into the curriculum, notably Data Structures and Concrete Mathematics. In 1993 he became Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming. He has supervised the dissertations of 28 students.

Knuth began in 1962 to prepare textbooks about programming techniques, and this work evolved into a projected seven-volume series entitled The Art of Computer Programming. Volumes 1-3 first appeared in 1968, 1969, and 1973. Having revised these three in 1997, he is now working full time on the remaining volumes. Volume 4A appeared at the beginning of 2011. More than one million copies have already been printed, including translations into ten languages.

He took ten years off from that project to work on digital typography, developing the TeX system for document preparation and the METAFONT system for alphabet design. Noteworthy by-products of those activities were the WEB and CWEB languages for structured documentation, and the accompanying methodology of Literate Programming. TeX is now used to produce most of the world's scientific literature in physics and mathematics.

His research papers have been instrumental in establishing several subareas of computer science and software engineering: LR(k) parsing; attribute grammars; the Knuth-Bendix algorithm for axiomatic reasoning; empirical studies of user programs and profiles; analysis of algorithms. In general, his works have been directed towards the search for a proper balance between theory and practice.

Professor Knuth received the ACM Turing Award in 1974 and became a Fellow of the British Computer Society in 1980, an Honorary Member of the IEEE in 1982. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering; he is also a foreign associate of l'Academie des Sciences (Paris), Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi (Oslo), Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Munich), the Royal Society (London), and Rossiiskaya Akademia Nauk (Moscow). He holds five patents and has published approximately 160 papers in addition to his 28 books. He received the Medal of Science from President Carter in 1979, the American Mathematical Society's Steele Prize for expository writing in 1986, the New York Academy of Sciences Award in 1987, the J.D. Warnier Prize for software methodology in 1989, the Adelskøld Medal from the Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1994, the Harvey Prize from the Technion in 1995, and the Kyoto Prize for advanced technology in 1996. He was a charter recipient of the IEEE Computer Pioneer Award in 1982, after having received the IEEE Computer Society's W. Wallace McDowell Award in 1980; he received the IEEE's John von Neumann Medal in 1995. He holds honorary doctorates from Oxford University, the University of Paris, St. Petersburg University, and more than a dozen colleges and universities in America.

Professor Knuth lives on the Stanford campus with his wife, Jill. They have two children, John and Jennifer. Music is his main avocation.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jevons & Hollerith Books on August 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Seven years after his 1979 book "TEX and METAFONT", at the start of a revolution leading to ubiquitous desktop publishing (first Macintosh in 1984), Knuth published a set of five books on TEX, METAFONT, and typefaces.

His purpose as teacher was to show a new way to write and document computer programs -- "literate" programming. In these volumes Knuth published two sizeable PASCAL applications for computerized typesetting and -- as a byproduct -- invented a documentation tool, CWEB, that both preserves the textual accuracy of the source code and improves programmer comprehension for debugging and maintenance purposes.

The peer review process implied by Knuth's demonstration, his careful attention to the tiniest details, and his gift of the source code to the public domain are all foundations of today's open source community.

This is hardly an introductory text on programming and very few of us read computer programs for fun. That said, a programmer with some experience could learn a great deal by thorough study and imitation of the master craftsmen (don't forget about John D. Hobby) at work here.
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