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Introduction to the Theory of Computation [Hardcover]

Michael Sipser
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Introduction to the Theory of Computation Introduction to the Theory of Computation 2.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

December 1996 053494728X 978-0534947286
Presents computer science theory from a uniquely intuitive big picture perspective. Author grounds his clear and interesting study on broad mathematical principles, now low-level technical details. DLC: Machine theory.

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"Intended as an upper-level undergraduate or introductory graduate text in computer science theory," this book lucidly covers the key concepts and theorems of the theory of computation. The presentation is remarkably clear; for example, the "proof idea," which offers the reader an intuitive feel for how the proof was constructed, accompanies many of the theorems and a proof. Introduction to the Theory of Computation covers the usual topics for this type of text plus it features a solid section on complexity theory--including an entire chapter on space complexity. The final chapter introduces more advanced topics, such as the discussion of complexity classes associated with probabilistic algorithms.

About the Author

Ph.D. University of California - Berkeley

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Satisfied! Oct. 4 2010
The book was in good condition and arrived a day earlier than the expected day. I was very grateful for this fast delivery since I have homework assignments from this book.
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By A Customer
In my opinion this is one of the best written books in the CS discipline, a must have for every computer scientist. The topics are presented clearly, with emphasis in understanding the concept, which most of the times is missed in other books amongst the equation line up of theorems that nobody will further investigate. Probably not comprehensive enough for a researcher of the field, but definately the right text to start on the subject and comprehend the basics, which is more than most students in the CS field will need.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Near Perfect Computer Theory Textbook Jan. 3 2004
This book is suitable for beginners and graduate students who want to explor the theory of computation . It explains the hard theory and logic by easy sentences and words. Even if you use English as foreign language , you can read this book by yourself and understand its contents easily. This book is near perfect.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An EXCELLENT Automata/Theory of Computation book Nov. 3 2003
This book is one of the best written books on Automata/Theory of Computation that I have ever seen. It is a great introduction to the subject. It's also a great way to review the key topics.
One of the greatest things about this book is its focus on developing an intuitive understanding of the concepts and proofs. Other books do a better job of formal proofs but this book is light years ahead of any other in terms of helping you develop an intuitive understanding of why a given proof or construction is correct. It's a lot better than the memorize/regurgitate model necessitated by the emphasis on minutiae of other books.
Lastly, this book provides great tips on how to approach problem solving (especially proofs).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to computer science theory Oct. 25 2003
This book is aimed as an introductory text book on computer science theory. The book is suited for both undergraduate and graduate studies. The first three chapters of the book, regular expressions, context free languages and the church-turing thesis are apt for an introductory class for the undergraduate level. The remaining 7 chapters provide more than enough content for advanced undergraduate or graduate studies.
This is the first book on computer science theory that I have seen, which is actually written in understandable English. As compared to the previous introductory texts by Hopcroft or Papadimitriou, Sipser shuns writting the entire book using just symbols of formal mathematics. This is not to say that there is no formalism in the book. There is adequate use of formal mathematics in the proofs of the book, but not so much as to scare even in most intrepid readers like in previous books on this subject.The fact I liked most about this book is that every proof in the book is accompanied by a "Proof Idea" which explains using diagrams and plain english how exactly the proof works. This followed by the formal proof. The problems at the end of each chapter are fairly interesting, and some of the * marked problems can be fairly challenging for a first time student.
Another amazing thing about this book is the amount of content it covers. I would have never expected a book of only 400 pages to cover computer science theory all the way from introductory undergraduate to advanced graduate levels. This is because, the author focusses only on core concepts and strives to make them as clear as possible. For example, this book has only one chapter on regular expressions, while every other book that I have seen has at least 3-4 chapters full of gory details.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BEST Computer Theory book April 21 2003
This book is by far the best book that I read!!! It presents topics in a very interesting and readable way.
My advice is read this book if you an undergrad student, even though instructor might be using a different book. If you are a grad student this books makes an excellent reference for refreshing your knowledge of Computer Theory. Computer Theory is not my area of interest, but this book makes it very interesting and fun area; which is quiet unusual for Computer Theory books.
I am a grad student taking advanced "Computer Theory" class. I have bought couple books including this one, and checked out from library another 6. This book in an introductory book and it has excellent coverage of the basics, and it has some brief but very good coverage of advanced topics as well. I read this book every time to refresh my knowledge before I go on to more in depth topics. The only thing that I wish, is that the undergrad course that I have taken a number years ago was using this book; and/or I read this book when I was an undergrad.
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5.0 out of 5 stars inspired March 3 2003
By A Customer
I was trying to understand quantum computing and i read
this book as a preliminary material on classical computation.
I found it very clear, concise and informative. It is highly
recommended for combining simplicity and depth.
I found one problem though; the book has three great
divisions: computability, complexity automata.
There is no doubt that in modern computing, coding theory is considered as important as the previous three branches.
I think that the author should augment his book with
a division on coding (information, error-correction, cryptography) in order to give a complete theory of computing.
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