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The Art of Computer Programming: Fundamental Algorithms Volume. 1: Fundamental Algorithms v. 1 Hardcover – 7 Jul 1997


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 3 edition (7 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201896834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201896831
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 4.8 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover

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

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.

—Charles Long

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

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.

—Jonathan Laventhol

This first volume in the series begins with basic programming concepts and techniques, then focuses more particularly on information structures—the representation of information inside a computer, the structural relationships between data elements and how to deal with them efficiently. Elementary applications are given to simulation, numerical methods, symbolic computing, software and system design. Dozens of simple and important algorithms and techniques have been added to those of the previous edition. The section on mathematical preliminaries has been extensively revised to match present trends in research.



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.



Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By MR D DE LEON on 25 Jan 2000
Format: Hardcover
The book is split into two chapters, Basic Concepts and Information Structures.
Chapter 1. Basic Concepts
Chapter 1 starts with a Section which considers what is an isn't an algorithm, and the properties that an algorithm must have. This section closes by offering a mathematical definition of a computational method, "by which the concept of algorithm can be firmly grounded in terms of mathematical set theory". This gives a hint as to what's next! The second Section of Chapter 1 provides a vigorous and intensive overview of the mathematics required for being a practitioner of computer science: induction, powers, logs, sums, products, integer functions, elementary number theory, permutations, factorials, binomial coefficients, harmonic numbers, Fibonacci numbers, generating functions, algorithm analysis and asymptotic representations. Phew! Three thousand years of mathematics are covered in a breathtaking 100-and-a-bit pages and are tested by an almost unbelievable 390 questions, all with answers! The third Section of Chapter 1 covers MIX, an artificial assembler language. My view is that understanding assembler is critical, not optional! To call yourself a computer scientist, or even software engineer, without having at least a working understanding of what your software is actually instructing the processor to do is akin to calling yourself a car mechanic when you don't know how the engine or transmission work! Those few ignorant "reviewers" who gripe about MIX prove that they haven't actually read the book, but wish only to associate their names with someone far more worthy than themselves because as Knuth himself admits: "... MIX is quite obsolete [and will] be replaced ... by a new machine called MMIX ... [which is] a ...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Nov 1999
Format: Hardcover
I thought I knew everything there was to know about linked lists until I read this book. How wrong I was. The same could be said for just about any other topic touched on by Knuth.
The main drawback is that if you want to work through the example questions, then you need to learn MIX and get your hands on a MIX simulator. I've nothing against learning assembler, but this is 1960s assembler, not something "nice" like 68K.
Knuth is working on an updated version, but it'll praobably be years before it's ready. I wouldn't let that put me off buying these books though.
Paul Floyd
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Aug 1999
Format: Hardcover
I read this book when I was a sophomore in high school and I thought it was excellent. Prior to reading the book, I had wanted for a long time to write a program to evaluate standard mathematical expressions. I had even tried once before, but I didn't know enough about what I was doing to be really successful. Somewhere in the second chapter in a discussion of lists, doubly-linked-lists, and binary trees, a good solution came to me, and I implemented it right after I finished reading the book. It worked very well. This book helped me to accomplish the major goal-project of my computer programming career so far, and I definately think it is worth reading for anyone wanting a really advanced understanding of fundamental algorithms. Now I know to many advanced means total [over]use of fully encapsulated C++ objects, which this book doesn't have, but this book gives an advanced understanding, which is infinitely more valuable than classes. If you understand OOP and you understand this book, you should be able to combine the two just fine. Lastly, I'd like to comment on the use of MIX. I read almost none of the MIX assembly code when I read this book. The little I looked at I looked at because I wanted to see what assembly was like in the 60's. But you can understand everything he's trying to say by his explanations of the algorithms, the assembly code is only for clarification, and you don't have to read it. I also believe that everyone who's been using fully encapsulated classes for their entire programming career should learn an assembly language sometime. Just like this book, it will teach you how to think.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Nov 1997
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who aspires to be a transcendent programmer must own (and use) Knuth. I've used my 20 year old TAOCP vol. 1 so many times over the years that it lays flat at any page.
The updated volume 1 is more of the same - a classic revisited, revamped, restored. It is odd to handle something so familiar, yet so crisp.
Those who dislike MIX will be unimpressed - to them, I say that you don't learn by doing the same vanilla thing time and again, but rather by wrestling with unfamiliar concepts and architectures. Many times my fellow programmers will find themselves roadblocked in an unfamiliar situation, while I often can see the unobvious solution - I attribute this ability to a wide experience with unconventional solutions, including extensive study of Knuth's TAOCP.
If you're serious about your programming abilities, you *must* own (and study) this book! Frankly, if computer science were taught as an apprenticeship, this would be the journeyman's manual. I've required the many programmers I've trained over the years to own and study TAOCP, and they've all come to appreciate it's layered approach to problems - you can read Knuth at many levels, from algorithm reference to meta-analysis of an entire class of problems.
If there is a Koran, Bible, or Tao of Computer Science, this is it. The only thing close is Aho's "Dragon Book," and it's specific to compilers.
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