Algorithms are useful to study because they come up frequently in the practice of programming, and thus I think that this book is most useful after or while you've dealt with actual programming. By then it is fairly obvious where the algorithms come from; they are merely attempts to solve problems.
So don't kill yourself if you're new to real programming and all this sounds arbitrary. Knuth in effect has written a clearinghouse of ideas that have come up in computer science. This book at times comes to seem like The Art of Explaining.
For those who hate the use of the MIX assembly language instead of some easier language such as C: You lose information that way. That… Read more