Concrete Mathematics

A FOUNDATION FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE

GRAHAM * KNUTH * PATASHNIK

The book deserves every praise. One thing I disagree with is the subtitle - A Foundation for Computer Science. Except for the discussion on hashing function, computer science is hardly mentioned. The purpose of the book is not only to present several topics in CONtinuous and disCRETE Mathematics but (and this is most essential) to demonstrate problem solving techniques and their concrete applications to math problems. The book is written very informally with students' graffity on margins and at least one self-reference. I am not a student in any sense and bought the book just because it made a delightful reading.

It's a shame the book is classified as a textbook. Under this pretext a Barnes & Noble store where I purchased my copy disavowed their every day 20% discount on every hardcover title. Now, I believe that a newspaper remains a newspaper even when used as a wrapping material. However, in what sense my copy is a textbook if I have no intention of pursuing additional degrees and have purchased the book for the sole purpose of enjoying myself now and then?

The book offers a wealth of material. The Josephus' problem serves as an introduction into the practice of recurrence relations. I plan to pick up this topic in the future.

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