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generatingfunctionology, Second Edition Hardcover – December 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0127519562 ISBN-10: 0127519564 Edition: 2nd

2 New from $79.52 5 Used from $123.20
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Hardcover, December 1, 1993
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Academic Press; 2 edition (December 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0127519564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0127519562
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,992,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

" ""Wilf's writing is clear and friendly; his exorcises are instructive and plentiful... This book is valuable reading for even the best of specialists..."" -E. Rodney Canfield, The Mathematical Intelligencer , March 1993
""This is a first rate, carefully planned and executed book written by a 'black belt gereratingfunctionologist.' I'll be using it the next time I teach..."" -George Andrews, SIAM News, October 1994
""Wilf's book is very well-written and easy to read by any serious mathematics student. Scientists in other disciplines often encounter the need to study sequences that naturally arise in their own discipline. The book is well-suited fo them, too."" -Short Book Reviews, January 2006" --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 9 customer reviews
Wilf's writing style is clear, concise, and even humorous at times.
Aristarchus
I did download this book for free from Dr. Wilf's homepage, but I've dog-eared my printouts so many times I thought I would buy a hard-bound copy.
Amazon junkie
A good introduction to the theory of generating functions and their uses.
Dmitry Zinenko

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By S. Bowling on September 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Interested readers should be made aware that if a person does a net search for "Herbert Wilf's Home Page", and then goes to that site, the author has this book (and a number of other things)available for FREE downloading. That might be a great way to preview the book, even if you later decide to spend the money to get a nicely bound traditional copy here.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Aristarchus on December 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Generatingfunctionology is, in my opinion, one of the best mathematics books ever written. If you want to read one mathematics book that really makes a difference, this is it! I read the book twice, and I plan to read it again. I went from being rather inept at solving combinatorial problems to being a virtual "master" almost overnight! Wilf's writing style is clear, concise, and even humorous at times. Reading this book is like being blind and then having your eyes opened for the first time. Generating functions are an extremely powerful tool in number theory and combinatorics. Don't pass up this book! You may never become an Euler, but you sure can come close!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a well-organized cookbook of generating function techniques. The emphasis is on combinatorial methods (breaking down the generating function into simpler, known functions). There is also a chapter on analytic methods (Lagrange reversion, contour integration, analysis of poles). The chapter on exponential generating functions is especially good; these are used when counting items that have "labelled components" in some sense. The book includes solutions of many difficult combinatorial problems by using generating functions.
I think generating functions are an under-appreciated technique. Studying this book is a relatively painless way to learn about generating functions and their applications.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alexander C. Zorach on November 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is freely available online, but it is so good that it is worth buying a hard-copy of, and it's reasonably priced too. I would advise potential buyers to check it out online; you'll probably find that you like it, and you'll probably buy it after you get tired of staring at your screen or making printouts.

Wilf is an outstanding writer, among the best writers in mathematics; this book is a true pleasure to read. His explanations are lucid and he has a great sense of humor. This book is not particularly advanced, although it is one of those texts that you can keep coming back to; it takes quite some time to exhaust the material in it and I have certainly not come close to doing so. It covers generating functions in the form of ordinary power series, exponential power series, and Dirichlet series, and it touches on a few other types of generating functions as well. There is a chapter on the exponential formula and a chapter which explores a more systematic approach to counting. The last chapter is on analytic methods to study asymptotic approximations to counting functions. The book is well organized; topics flow naturally, and yet it is easy to skip topics and move around freely. The exercises are immensely useful. They start simple, but there are many of them and they become progressively more difficult in a natural way.

This book would be suitable for an undergraduate course in combinatorics, and it also makes a good supplementary text for anyone studying combinatorics or possibly complex analysis at the graduate level. I find this book is excellent for self-study at any level as well. Check it out for yourself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dmitry Zinenko on October 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A good introduction to the theory of generating functions and their uses. In fact, the only readable introduction I could find. It is NOT one of those many generation functions books written by mathematicians for mathematicians.
Shows lots and lots of neat tricks that become available for a "generatingfunctionologist" in the fields of combinatorics and probability.
All the material is presented in a very clean, organized way, with good examples. I use it as a hands-on reference book.
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