- Hardcover: 896 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 3rd edition (October 15, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0201485419
- ISBN-13: 978-0201485417
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 5 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,101,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Art of Computer Programming, Vols. 1-3 3rd Edition
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From the Inside Flap
"The bible of all fundamental algorithms and the work that taught many of today's software developers most of what they know about computer programming."-- Byte, Sept 1995
"If you think you're a really good programmer,...read [Knuth's] Art of Computer Programming....You should definitely send me a resume if you can read the whole thing." -- Bill Gates
This Knuth set is perfect for your own reference bookshelf, and makes an ideal gift for any serious student or practitioner of computer programming.
From the Back Cover
This multivolume work is widely recognized as the definitive description of classical computer science. The first three volumes have for decades been an invaluable resource in programming theory and practice for students, researchers, and practitioners alike.
The bible of all fundamental algorithms and the work that taught many of today’s software developers most of what they know about computer programming.
–Byte, September 1995
Countless readers have spoken about the profound personal influence of Knuth’s work. Scientists have marveled at the beauty and elegance of his analysis, while ordinary programmers have successfully applied his “cookbook” solutions to their day-to-day problems. All have admired Knuth for the breadth, clarity, accuracy, and good humor found in his books.
I can’t begin to tell you how many pleasurable hours of study and recreation they have afforded me! I have pored over them in cars, restaurants, at work, at home… and even at a Little League game when my son wasn’t in the line-up.
Primarily written as a reference, some people have nevertheless found it possible and interesting to read each volume from beginning to end. A programmer in China even compared the experience to reading a poem.
If you think you’re a really good programmer… read [Knuth’s] Art of Computer Programming… You should definitely send me a résumé if you can read the whole thing.
Whatever your background, if you need to do any serious computer programming, you will find your own good reason to make each volume in this series a readily accessible part of your scholarly or professional library.
It’s always a pleasure when a problem is hard enough that you have to get the Knuths off the shelf. I find that merely opening one has a very useful terrorizing effect on computers.
For the first time in more than 20 years, Knuth has revised all three books to reflect more recent developments in the field. His revisions focus specifically on those areas where knowledge has converged since publication of the last editions, on problems that have been solved, on problems that have changed. In keeping with the authoritative character of these books, all historical information about previous work in the field has been updated where necessary. Consistent with the author’s reputation for painstaking perfection, the rare technical errors in his work, discovered by perceptive and demanding readers, have all been corrected. Hundreds of new exercises have been added to raise new challenges.
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Top Customer Reviews
Each volume contains 2 chapters. Ch. 1, Basic Concepts: mathematical foundations and a description of MIX, a hypothetical machine (now available in software emulations). Ch. 2, Information Structures: lists, trees, memory allocation, garbage collection. Ch. 3, Random Numbers: how to produce series of "random" numbers and test their statistical properties. Ch. 4, Arithmetic: algorithms for integer and floating-point arithmetic. Ch. 5, Sorting: both in memory and on disks or tapes. Ch. 6, Searching: sequential, binary, hashing.
Despite the detailed coverage of the topics, which often involves esoteric mathematical notation, the author's lively style makes the algorithms and the main theoretical results relatively easy to grasp. If all you care about is getting a program to run, buy another book; but if you really want to understand how and why software works, there's nothing quite like this.
(1) These books are not for the mathematically weak-at-heart. The first section, of over 100 pages, is on mathematical preliminaries. While it is true that there are many later sections that can be understood without this background, to truly get the most from these books will take some mathematical maturity,
(2) The algorithms and programs in the book will be difficult to understand to the modern reader, since they are written in an unstructured (i.e. GOTO-centric) style. Program code is given in assembly language for a fictional computer called MIX. Knuth may have his reasons for sticking with this form, but the reader should be aware that some extra work will be required to follow along.
Aside from these caveats, these books come highly recommended.