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The Nature of Computation [Paperback]

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (2011)
  • ASIN: B008HDKN9A
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great content, beautiful presentation 9 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I wrote a review here in late 2012 praising the book's content (which is great) and criticising the layout / typography of the kindle version, which was truly dreadful. That kindle version has now been removed from sale and replaced by a 'print replica' version, which is simply beautiful. I'm now reading the book again, and enjoying it even more.

The only downside is that it can't be viewed on a regular kindle (needs iPad / computer), but that display probably couldn't do it justice anyway.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing delivery, amazing book 17 Jan 2012
This review actually concerns amazon.co.uk shipping rather than the book itself. It was so amazing that I would like to share my experience and appreciation.

I placed my order Friday night; delivery option - standard international. I was emailed on Saturday morning that the book has been shipped by amazon.co.uk. The book was on my desk in Turkey on Tuesday morning. Simply amazing! Well done!

The book itself is also amazing - unusual, deep and delightful. Everyone interested, teaching or working in computation theory, algorithm analysis and design, complexity theory, foundation of mathematics should have it. It provides a common, meaningful insight into all these fields as a whole. However, I only had a quick glimpse and am not ready to write serious enough comments.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful encyclopedic book 22 Jan 2012
By Josep Diaz - Published on Amazon.com
This is a beautiful encyclopedic book, which covers a large range of topics from Theoretical Computer Science. The style favors intuition and clarity over technical details. Chapters 4 to 8 can be used as a textbook for an undergraduate complexity course. For computer science and mathematics students the book has the great advantage of examples from the physics world... the more advanced material can be easily used for graduate courses or seminars. For example, Chapters 12, 13 and 14 by themselves could be a perfect basic text for an advanced course in probabilistic methods in computer science and discrete mathematics. I hope future readers enjoy the book as much as I did.
(See longer review at Computer Science Reviews 5 (2011) 341.)
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best theory of computation book ever! 23 Mar 2012
By M. Villagra - Published on Amazon.com
There are fantastic books all over theoretical computer science on the same subjects. But this one, I find it simply the best of all of them. Why? Because it explains what really computer science is about, which is computation as the object of study, and it does so in such a friendly manner and accessible to mathematicians, physicists and (of course) computer scientists of all levels. In the preface of the book explicitly says so, the objective of this book is to show why computational complexity is such a beautiful field with beautiful mathematics, without going too much deeper into the technicalities. Even though they omit the gruesome details, I felt that the understanding gained from reading the book was enough to look at the references and go directly to the papers. Thus, at the same time, this book presents a full review of all computational complexity theory. Also, the problems at the end of each chapter are very fun, and they make the reader gain a deeper understanding of the chapter and other subjects that were not covered. The notes section after each problem set are full of anecdotes and historical remarks that makes the reading experience even more wonderful.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic introduction to computational complexity 20 Jan 2013
By Brian Malley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book did not prove to be quite what I had expected when I purchased it, but I have greatly enjoyed it anyway. This book is not really about the *nature* of computation, or even about computation at all, but rather about the structure of the problem-space encountered by computational systems. It is about the different kinds of computational problems. I have found it very interesting, and this book is written in such a way that even a newbie with limited mathematics can understand the key ideas. I highly recommend this introduction to anyone interested in natural science or technology.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on computational theory 10 Jan 2013
By Parisa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have read several books on computational theory. The majority of these books make this amazing topic look agonizingly boring and difficult. This book on the other hand, makes you fall in love with the subject. If you want to have an intuitive while profound understanding of the field, this is the book, don't look any further.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Headmelting 23 Aug 2012
By Dan MacKinlay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book starts with high-school mathematics and takes you all the way through the amazing architecture of mathematical problems themselves. It's encyclopaedia-length, but light and readable in style all the way through, sprinkled with liberal references to Lewis Carroll, Douglas Hofstadter and various other cult favourites of the literate mathnerd. That is, this exemplifies everything good about mathematical texts. Amazing.

For background, I am a mathematics major, but I had almost no exposure to computational complexity theory before starting this book apart from, say, the awareness that matrix inversion is approximately O(n^3)
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