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The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 4A: Combinatorial Algorithms, Part 1 Hardcover – January 22, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0201038040 ISBN-10: 0201038048 Edition: 1st

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The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 4A: Combinatorial Algorithms, Part 1 + The Art of Computer Programming: Volume 3: Sorting and Searching (2nd Edition) + Art of Computer Programming, Volume 2: Seminumerical Algorithms (3rd Edition)
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Product Details

  • Series: Art of Computer Programming
  • Hardcover: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (January 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201038048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201038040
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Donald E. Knuth is known throughout the world for his pioneering work on algorithms and programming techniques, for his invention of the TEX and METAFONT systems for computer typesetting, and for his prolific and influential writing (26 books, 161 papers). Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University, he currently devotes full time to the completion of his seminal multivolume series on classical computer science, begun in 1962 when he was a graduate student at California Institute of Technology. Professor Knuth is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the ACM Turing Award, the Medal of Science presented by President Carter, the AMS Steele Prize for expository writing, and, in November, 1996, the prestigious Kyoto Prize for advanced technology. He lives on the Stanford campus with his wife, Jill.

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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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Ed Pegg Jr TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Knuth has written many books considered classics. Some of the previous works have been set-up for where the real fun is - Combinatorics. In one of my own columns, I say "Never trust the brute-force power of a computer network to do the job of a combinatorialist." In 1967, John P. Robinson and Arthur J. Bernstein published an optimal Golomb ruler with 24 marks (OGR24). Their solution was confirmed in 2004 by a massive distributed effort using tens of thousand of computer years.

Knuth is attempting to discuss all the algorithms that will still be important 50 years from now. The amount of speed given using these algorithms is staggering.

Some examples topics in the book:
Page 222 - Algorithm S: Breadth-first synthesis of BDDs
Page 293 - Balanced and Complementary Gray codes.
Page 424 - Stirling numbers and set partitions.
Page 449 - Generating binary trees

Helpful mathematical illustrations feature prominently throughout the book, and pretty much every page is gorgeously formatted. Knuth developed TeX in part to produce beautiful books, and that is on display here.

Many thoughtful questions are provided as an aid to learning these very useful techniques. The Answers section runs for 303 pages.

It will take me months or years to digest most the information in this work, but I can't imagine a better presentation for this difficult but lucratively useful material.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Let's Compare Options Preptorial TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Question: Now that this is out, are all the items in the first 5 (part 4, 0-4) fascicles covered, or do I need them too?

A careful reading and comparison of both shows that although most of the topics are covered in both, as this "IS" the final publication with corrections of the fascicles, the fascicles add important background as well as detail, whereas 4A is a MUST due to the incredible number of new problems and answers. As a compromise if you're on a budget, you could get 4A for all combinatorials, or, for example, get fascicle 0 if you're more into logic design, circuits, etc. rather than all combinatorics. Do NOT buy all 5 fascicles AND this book, or you'll be double paying. However, the fascicles, in the older form, are available as .pdfs free. THIS BOOK updates and corrects all of them, and is complete.

I can't give all the contents for thousands of pages here, but if you go to Dr. Knuth's website, there are uncorrected .pdf copies of the whole series, and an index of all past and future versions. Just Bing or Google the title with Volume 4A and choose the link that starts with cs dot utsa dot edu (Dr. Don's site). The links come back here to Amazon for purchase, but give full uncorrected .pdfs to save you money on the previous fascicles as you compare them to this newer 2011 volume. That will also let you see in detail which, if any, of the previous fascicles you really want combined with 4A. Realize, though, that Dr. Knuth has corrected MANY sections in this 2011 combinatorial text, so even if you like the .pdfs of the previous sicles, you'll clearly want 4A.

In fact, when you go to that site, there is even a "volume 5/part B" uncorrected fascicle available as an advance .pdf. The Stanford site even has a few more.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Scott in LA on March 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Over 30 years, whew! I'm very pleased to be able to add this volume to the other three (I've had to replace volumes 1 and 3 because I wore out my first copies). And, I'm very glad I don't have to complete a graduate course that would use this volume as a text, I'm not sure I'd have the stamina to make it though. Thank you, Dr. Knuth, for your guidance and challenges. They certainly made a significant difference in the success of my career. I'm sure that those of you who delve into this volume will be enlightened by it as well. I'm not qualified to technically critique or perhaps even understand a lot of the material in this book, but at least I'll have the rest of my life to try. Now, doesn't he still owe us one more?
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