David Harel and Yishai Feldman

Algorithmics : the spirit of computing

The ubiquity of computers means that most people who get into programming won't have been through a formal computer science course. However, if you are such a programmer, then you may well want to find out more about the subject. Algorithmics : the spirit of computing by David Harel provides an excellent resource for this purpose, and it would also be a useful introduction for those thinking of taking a computer science course. The book gives a wide ranging overview of computation and algorithms, but goes into more detail than most popular accounts of the subjects. It has exercises for each chapter, with solutions at the end, as well as copious notes for those wanting to study the topics further.

The book starts with a look at the nature of programming and the different types of programming languages. It then moves on to algorithmics proper - computational complexity, intractible and undecidable problems. It goes into a bit more detail than Harel's lighter book Computers Ltd, but still doesn't get excessively technical. In the second edition this was where the book stopped, but the third has been considerably extended, with chapters on other forms of computing such as probabilistic algorithms, quantum computing and cryptography. There is also a look at issues of software engineering, and the book finished with a discussion of computer intelligence.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 536 pages  
ISBN: 0321117840
Salesrank: 2429722
Published: 2004 Addison-Wesley
Amazon price $81.27
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 536 pages  
ISBN: 0321117840
Salesrank: 198988
Weight:2.12 lbs
Published: 2004 Addison Wesley
Amazon price £45.72
Marketplace:New from £45.72:Used from £20.13
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 536 pages  
ISBN: 0321117840
Salesrank: 4281448
Weight:2.12 lbs
Published: 2004 Pearson
Amazon price CDN$ 91.85
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 91.85:Used from CDN$ 42.45
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Product Description

The best selling 'Algorithmics' presents the most important, concepts, methods and results that are fundamental to the science of computing.  It starts by introducing the basic ideas of algorithms, including their structures and methods of data manipulation.  It then goes on to demonstrate how to design accurate and efficient algorithms, and discusses their inherent limitations.  As the author himself says in the preface to the book; 'This book attempts to present a readable account of some of the most important and basic topics of computer science, stressing the fundamental and robust nature of the science in a form that is virtually independent of the details of specific computers, languages and formalisms'.