The Art of Computer Programming

A place to discuss the science of computers and programs, from algorithms to computability.

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AWA
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The Art of Computer Programming

Postby AWA » Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:24 am UTC

I just heard about this...novel, for lack of a better word. Since I'm not a computer programmer, I have no reason to read this.

I was wondering, however, whether any of you have. If so, I'd like to hear your experiences, since apparently TAoCP is one of the doorstoppers.
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!xobile
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Re: The Art of Computer Programming

Postby !xobile » Sat Feb 14, 2009 5:31 am UTC

I received the box set of the first three volumes for my birthday, and yes they are in fact door stoppers in the sense that they are large and heavy. Personally I did not find reading them very enjoyable because of the density of Knuth's writing style That being said they do explain EVERYTHING you might want to know in an absurdly deep level of detail. I primarily use them as reference books for my CS classes when there is something i don't understand, or would like to see in more detail.

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negatron
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Re: The Art of Computer Programming

Postby negatron » Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:34 pm UTC

The word on the street seems to be that Concrete Mathematics (also a Knuth book) and Introduction to Algorithms is a much more comprehensible alternative to AoCP.

I don't know if I'll ever develop the courage and patience to digest AoCP, so I can't be a judge of this.
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mrcheesypants
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Re: The Art of Computer Programming

Postby mrcheesypants » Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:48 pm UTC

TAoCP is a reference book and is not supposed to be read from cover to cover. However, a lot of people try to read it from cover to cover because it's one of the best things you can do for your nerd cred.
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psykx
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Re: The Art of Computer Programming

Postby psykx » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:50 pm UTC

I've only read the first couple of chapters of the first book of TAoCP but that certainly seems like it's certainly supposed to be red in one go as it explains the concept you need to understand the next part and provides excercises to prove you know what you've just read. I can tell already I'm not going to finish them but once I can program in MIX reasonably well I'll probably just dip in and out as suggested above.
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ninjacore
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Re: The Art of Computer Programming

Postby ninjacore » Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:30 am UTC

I bought the first 3 volumes a few years ago, and I occasionally read a few chapters. They are really heavy reading but very valuable books. They give a great insight into logics behind computers.
There is a lot of fun and interesting problems to solve also, if you are into that.
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