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on November 7, 2010
I'm a student and beginner at discrete math and all related to this book. The book fails to teach in plain English and requiers you to come back to read over and over again what you failed to understand the first, second and third time.

The problems in each section are increadibily higher skilled than the examples and almost impossible to get the right answers. Some problems are even leagues away of what the examples imply and you would have never guessed where the answers on the back of the book came from.
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on January 11, 2013
At Portland State, this book is used for beginning DS but it's a very unfortunate book to use, especially since the professor teaching it uses the same examples and notes based on the book to teach the subject in class. I actually went online and found Vladlen Koltun's lecture notes from Stanford University. He goes over the same subject matter, actually explains a good proof structure and the more basic assumptions being made, and frankly made a lot more sense. Only buy it if it's required.
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on February 20, 2011
This book can get you more lost than a first grader walking home from school. The exercise problems are terrible. It gives you the answers to all the easy problems and the hard problems which the chapters dont explain anything well will have you frustrated and confused. The chapters give you examples, but are not clear of how to work each example out. It just gives you the solution to the problem without giving an explanation. I have yet to find a solutions manual for this book. The book is not organized very well. If you have to have this book for a class, I suggest doing all the problems in each exercise, and the ones you cant figure out ask your teacher. I'm on my last two semesters in my CS degree and I have good programming skills, I would not recommend this book.
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on October 27, 2014
If you are buying this you probably don't have a choice. Like most texts it is obtuse and can be confusing. The professor, of course, jumps around like all professors do.

On the bright side, the book has lots and lots of examples as well as even more examples through the exercises. This has been invaluable. Over all, in the grand scheme of Math proof and CS theory texts, this one is pretty decent.

Its still a text book.
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on November 7, 2010
This book is required for two classes at Portland State. I honestly agree with a few reviewers here when they say it is better used as a door stop. The common chapter will briefly explain the subject matter, never in great detail. It includes graphs and pictures that most people won't understand, unless you sit and study it for longer than you should. Finally, the reader is then expected to complete exercises that are far more complex than anything the book has shown, most of which the book hasn't even taught or even mentioned.

Unless you are required to take this book, my opinion is to find a completely different book. One where the subject matter is actually taught, not simply briefly explained.

Also, as to the teacher here calling people average for not understanding this book... You're a douche.
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on October 20, 2014
Obviously this is a required book for most so a rating does little help in deciding if you should get this or not. But at least don't pay full price for this book, rent it or buy used and get rid of it.

The examples and overall wording of the book is horrible. It is for entry level classes in this area and the reading is now where near that level. The content is hardly skimmed over and examples and exercises leave you confused on where the answers even came from. Most examples skip from problem to solution with no middle steps and variables/symbols that appear from nowhere.
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on September 13, 2014
It has been said that a teacher who has mastered teaching can teach any concept so that a child can understand it. From the ground up this book is written in a complex manner. When I you tube some of the topics I find that the seemingly complex ideas that are covered are really quite simple. This book needlessly complicates most topics. Expect to read the same sentences over and over again and still wonder what exactly is being said.
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on October 31, 2015
I love this book. However, services provided by Amazon are not good They said Amazon prime membership is free for 6 months for students. but $1 is deducted from my account for this membership. They were showing the discount of $10 with Prime membership card and when i purchased this book i did not get any discount neither i have received any card yet. Even i was not able to register and it was prompting me for SSN(which i don't have). i contacted Amazon more than 3 times for these issues and nobody was able to help me. They even criticized me for not having SSN. Customer service representative asked me to get the SSN. I said that i am on student visa and can not work for next 1 year and can not get SSN for next 1 year. she said "that stinks". I have also worked in customer service industry for almost 3.5 years where i served US customers with their technical issues. that's not how you should treat customers over the phone.
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on May 9, 2011
I'm required to use this book as I go to Portland State University where Hein taught for a while. The examples are helpful, but often I find the formal definitions hard to follow. I'm not the only one who has mentioned this about the book in my classes...we use it for 3 quarters.
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on October 19, 2015
There's no reason to buy this book if you're taking this class at PSU. The text is obtuse, the chapters and topics have little flow or continuity. As a graduate student with a bachelor's in physics this book has left me floundering and at times wondering if I recently sustained major head trauma without my knowing it.

If you know discrete math already this book might be for you, otherwise it's best used as a door stop or kindling as other reviewers have noted.

James Hein would be contributing more to students of CS or mathematics if he instead published a 1000 page volume of sheets printed with the simple phrase, "Know discrete math.". Who knows, maybe he'll read this review and publish just that for the 4th edition. That's how great this book is.
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