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Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews(4 star)show all reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2003
Pros:
- Good general book for basic algorithm stuff.
- Tons of basic algorithms.
- Thorough in proofs.
- Very easy to follow once in case you have enough Math background (by either being a grad student or else if undergrad, read the first few chapters as well as Appendices well in advance to the course (Spend time solving the exercises and get familiar with the notation etc. before taking the course)
Cons:-
- I don't consider it a good idea to write algorithms with index starting from 1 instead of 0? Most popular languages used in the industry, have arrays starting from zero.
- Most professors that I have discussed it with agree that this is not the best book for the subject but probably the only one with this much material in it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2003
The problem with this book from a beginner's perspective is the horrible pseudocode. It is *ambiguous* in some parts. For instance, right at the start, in insertion sort, it divides an array of length[A]=n in two parts, one being A[1..j-1] (sorted) and the other (unsorted) being A[j + 1..n].OK. However, the for loop starts with for j:= 2 to length[A]. So, they're being pedantic: mixing mathematical rigorousness with ambiguous pseudocode. Slot-value is confounded with array indexes (position), too. Maybe the problem stems from the bias of the pseudocode towards Pascal and C-like languages, which must be the reason why people excuse the confusion, since they're prone to it anyhow, programming in primitive languages such as those two. For example, references to how pointers relate to its pseudocode would have no place in the book , had they really given more thought to the way they write that pseudocode. Write the damn thing in C, already (*not* Pascal - that's for kids)!
It does not make good algorithmic use of brain-cell caloric use, sometimes.
There's a (quite) extensive list of errors on the on-line page. Please check it before going mad.
So while it seems to be a very complete book, it doesn't get the message accross with even some simple algorithms. We are all suppose to love it because it is from M.I.T., but the fact of the matter is that you'll need books more student-oriented.
Buy it for reference, anyhow. It's worth the money.
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Over the past two years I have taken both undergraduate and graduate level algorithms classes that used this textbook. I often had this book in my car, or on my desk at work, and people would come up and comment on it as if it was a long lost friend!
This is truly a fanatastic effort, and there is a good reason that so many engineers are familiar with this book. If I were to teach an algorithms class myself I would certainly use it. I know some people do not like the psuedocode that is used, but I think that it is ok, once you get used to it.
One reason I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 is because the "new edition" seems to really only have small changes in it. I used the first edition for my undergraduate class, and less than a year later had to buy the 2nd edition for my graduate class :-( I found this rather annoying. It seems like the authors reorganized the book just to extract more money out of students like myself, so that I would have to buy 2 copies instead of being able to use the same book in more than one semester. I will have a hard time reselling the first edition now as well. I know that this is a common practice in the textbook industry, but that does not make it right. The changes in the second edition seem to be very minor, and not worth shelling out another large chunk of money.
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on December 8, 2001
I am currently enrolled in MIT 6.046, which uses this book as a textbook. The course covers a substantial portion of the textbook, Chapters 1-17, 21-26, and 33. This means that I must read several chapters per week. Reading sessions take much time, because the authors have made the book very verbose. The same book could have been written to better effect in about four to five hundred pages.
The material covered is very broad, and most algorithms are nonobvious. Every once in a while, there is a simplification that is simply 'slick'. Definitely one of the textbooks that I will keep. For those who mention that the book is too difficult, I must comment that they are not ready for algorithms. Strength in mathematics is obviously required to be a good programmer.
And remember, as Prof. C.E. Leiserson mentioned in the first lecture, "Speed is fun!"
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on February 15, 2003
I used this book as part of a graduate class in Algorithms
and hated the psuedo code because it didn't read as clearly
or unambiguously as the "real" code I have been reading as
a professional developer for over a dozen years. After teaching
myself and corresponding with the authors,I see the difficulty
I had stemmed partly from the way my teacher used the book.
The pseudo code makes reference to other bits of code in other
parts of the book. Its not always clear that these parts do
appear in the index. If the course had followed the book more
closely that would have been evident.
The author's point isn't completely lost though. If I had
carefully read the introductory material I would have picked
that up.
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on March 12, 2003
I am currently using this book for a Computer Science course. It's explanations are great, but the pseudocode is horrible. I have to write programs based on the book's pseudocode and I spend most of my time deciphering the meaning of all the symbols. Having one letter variable names does not help either. Maybe the authors could have base their pseudocode on a real language. One good aspect of the pseudocode is that is does work once you decipher it.
All in all, it is a good book for learning algorithms. I just get rather frustrated trying to implement the book's examples using their pseudocode.
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on March 14, 2002
The book is, as long as I know, the standard for introductive algorithms courses. And one can easily understand why, since it is complete and authoritative. An encyclopedic good work that deserves respect and a good reviews.
I'd gladly give a five stars rate, but it seems that this book must chronically suffer the annoying disease of bugs and printing errors. It was so in the first edition and it seems it is going exactly the same way in this second edition. Just go to the MIT Press web site and check the impressive (since we are just at the sixth month of life ...) bug reports list.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2007
I found this book to be very good in explaining the algorithms. The language is too complicated and long-winded. The book is an excellent accompaniment to lectures, but not very good on its own.
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on August 6, 2013
Nice book. Reasonable price. Quite new even this is a used book.
A bit long on delivering. I like it
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