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- Introduction to Algorithms, Second Edition
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5 people found this helpful

ByS. Sahaon February 23, 2004

You shouldn't have to read this review... this book is unmatched in it's field - it's a great book for someone with no background in algorithms to start learning. The exercises are very interesting with some being more mathematical while others are thought provoking extensions to material covered in the book. It's easily the bible in this field. After this one can go on to more advanced specialized material like Papadimitriou, Motwani and Raghavan etc. If you don't have this book and you work with ANY kind of algorithms or do any kind of programming, you owe it to yourself to get it.

One person found this helpful

ByJoel Heathon January 30, 2003

and as such, it isn't a good place to look to if you're not taking a class concurrently. This is not an introduction to computer science or to what an algorithm is or basic computing as all of the bad reviews claim it to be deficient in. It was never intended to be those things. Yes it may be a bit hard to follow; Yes, it may be a bit more than you can handle; Yes, that is what analysis of algorithms is. If you don't already understand most of the stuff in the first two chapters before you start, you're not going to get much from this book. It is not by any means for beginners of any type and is instead intended to give an overview of how to analyze algoritms for computer science problems. As for the one reviewer who complained that this book focuses too much on the "useless" basics of computer science and not enough on modern applications of computer science like AI, of course it does...what the hell do you think INTRODUCTION is supposed to mean. You can't expect to dive headlong into more advanced and complicated stuff until you understand the basics.

And yes, the psuedo-code kinda [bad]. The book isn't perfect but it does what it's intended to and doesn't do what some people expect from the title. If you bought this and don't understand a word of it, keep it around and try something else first, or take classes on programming and data structures...then come back and it will make more sense.

And yes, the psuedo-code kinda [bad]. The book isn't perfect but it does what it's intended to and doesn't do what some people expect from the title. If you bought this and don't understand a word of it, keep it around and try something else first, or take classes on programming and data structures...then come back and it will make more sense.

ByRussell Weisfieldon April 20, 2004

While many have noted how Thomas Corwen and his co-authors have added a scholarly touch to this subject with plenty of proofs it does not make for a good text. One can argue that this book should supplement the instructor's teachings. That would be fine except for the fact that there are no answers to the problems. Therefore, a student has no idea if he or she is on the right track.

To this end Corwen snidely replies on his website that any student asking for the answer will have his or her name posted as a potential cheater since Corwen believes that instructors should be able to use his problems as homework. Here's an idea, how about instructors developing their own problems!

Corwen also does not relate the material in plain English as someone like Frank Carrano does. There are other sources of many of the concepts like binary search trees, sorting algorithms, O-notation. The only thing Corwen is adding is lots of proof and mathematical shorthand.

If you are interested in the mathematical concepts behind the algorithms this is a fine introduction. If you are interested in the algorithmic concepts, this is not for you. Ultimately if you are a student whose instructor will be using this book, you have no choice about buying it. If you are an instructor, however, look at another book to supplement your teachings.

To this end Corwen snidely replies on his website that any student asking for the answer will have his or her name posted as a potential cheater since Corwen believes that instructors should be able to use his problems as homework. Here's an idea, how about instructors developing their own problems!

Corwen also does not relate the material in plain English as someone like Frank Carrano does. There are other sources of many of the concepts like binary search trees, sorting algorithms, O-notation. The only thing Corwen is adding is lots of proof and mathematical shorthand.

If you are interested in the mathematical concepts behind the algorithms this is a fine introduction. If you are interested in the algorithmic concepts, this is not for you. Ultimately if you are a student whose instructor will be using this book, you have no choice about buying it. If you are an instructor, however, look at another book to supplement your teachings.

ByDavid M. McLinon July 13, 2003

I purchased the book because it was required for my undergraduate algorithm analysis class. My experience so far has been terrible. My instructor was incapable of getting across even the basic concepts and he was constantly making mistakes and backpedaling. It didn't help either that he didn't make the slides used in the class and only saw them for the first time when he walked into the class. All of this and a weak background preparatory at the beginning of the class made the book a rather excruciating book to learn from. It is indeed a book of depth and knowledge, but it can be used against you as easily as it can be used for your advancement. Due to my bad experience, I'm inclined to look at CLR rather negatively. I would dearly love to take another algorithm class with a truely competent instructor but since there isn't one in my immediate future, it'll be a while before I'm given a chance to revise my opinion of the book.

The book can be an excellent source of algorithmatic knowledge but it's hardly an "introduction" for the beginners and used wrong will very easily dampen any futher computer science ambitions.

The book can be an excellent source of algorithmatic knowledge but it's hardly an "introduction" for the beginners and used wrong will very easily dampen any futher computer science ambitions.

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