The Art of Computer Programming: Volume 3: Sorting and Searching
By Donald Knuth
Why this book?
Knuth’s unique mix of playfulness and rigor came to define computer science as an intellectual discipline: computer science didn’t really have anything to do with computers, but everything to do with a particular way of seeing the world. Just browse and wonder at the beauty and precision achieved in these books.
Volume 3 (Sorting and Searching) is my personal favorite, and I encourage you to start there. During the pandemic, I finally got around to reading Volume 4A (Combinatorial Algorithms), which was published thirty plus years after Volume 3. It was the same feeling I had watching the movie The Phantom Menace years after growing up with the original Star Wars trilogy. I had forgotten just how unique and distinctive Knuth’s Art of Computer Programming is.
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