- Hardcover: 704 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Pub (Sd); 2nd edition (January 1981)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0201038226
- ISBN-13: 978-0201038224
- Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,194,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 2: Seminumerical Algorithms (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition
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From the Back Cover
now available! Volume 2 provides a comprehensive interface between computer programming and numerical analysis. It includes a substantial amount of complexity theory, number theory, and statistics. 0201038226B04062001
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. Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University, he currently devotes full time to the completion of these fascicles and the seven volumes to which they belong.
Top customer reviews
I attempted every single exercise in volume 1 and went into this one with the same intent. I got pretty close to at least trying each exercise; the last three sections, which covered exponents, polynomial evaluation and power series, went so deep that I ended up glossing over about half of the exercises in each section (the section on polynomial evaluation has over 70 exercises on its own). The exercises in this book were almost all more difficult, and more mathematically sophisticated, than volume 1 - I wouldn't have believed that was possible, but every time you think you've gone as deep as you can possibly go, Knuth shows you that you're just at the tip of the iceberg. I can't say I solved exercise, but I did at least try almost all of them - don't judge me until you try it yourself!
I did love this book, and enjoyed reading it, but I do think that this is one that a practicing programmer outside of very specific domains can probably safely skip - as fascinating as the topics are, and even after taking into consideration that this is not only the authoritative reference but in many cases the only printed material on some subjects - random number generation and lightning-fast (arbitrary precision) arithmetic aren't topics that most programmers have to deal with too often. Still, if you have the time, it is a really fun book to work through.
When you generate random numbers in Excel, or VBA, or Perl, or C using functions packaged with the software, you are really using a deterministic algorithm that is not random at all; the results do however look random and so we call them "pseudorandom".
Chapter 3 contains four main sections. First a section devoted to the linear congruence method (Xn+1=(aXn + c) mod m) of generating a pseudorandom sequence; with subsections on how to choose good values for a, c, and m. Second we get a section about how to test sequences to find if they are acceptably random or not. Third we find a section on other methods, expanding on linear congruence. Finally in a particularly fascinating section, DK provides a rigorous definition of randomness.
I haven't looked much at chapter 4 yet, on arithmetic. In it Knuth covers positional arithmetic, floating point arithmetic, multiplication and division at the machine level, prime numbers and efficient ways of investigating the primeness of very large numbers.
Again, DK is thorough and methodical. Again this is not a for dummies book. Again it is about theorems, algorithms, mechanical processes, and timeless truths. Again the exercises are a fascinating blend of the practical (investigate the random generating functions on the computers in your office) to the mathematical (he asks readers to formally prove many of the theorems he cites). And yes, again Knuth uses MIX, that wonderfully archaic fictional 60s machine language. But that should not stop readers; I use Perl.
Vincent Poirier, Tokyo
not very pretty, but they have plenty of use Very happy with this product! the next will continue to buy so pleased I bought another
Most recent customer reviews
It contains algorithms on pseudo-random sequences, algotithms on aritmetic operations on number, matrices ect.Read more