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I am a CS student, and am really astonished that I didn't know about Donald Knuth and his TAoCP. Now that I do, I really look forward to diving into it. Would going for the entire volume 4 be a good idea? Also, is there a place online where I can read up (especially, the algorithms and DS part) ?

thanks, Yati

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The Art of Computer Programming is a very thorough and exhaustive reference work and is not particular light reading.

A good place to start is Knuths own http://www-cs-staff.stanford.edu/~uno/taocp.html

You can see for yourself an old version of Volume 1 at http://www-cs-staff.stanford.edu/~uno/fasc1.ps.gz (Postscript viewer needed) which explains MMIX (a hypothetical RISC like CPU) that Knuth implements his algorithms in.

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Thanks a lot. I know it is very, very comprehensive, but I thought I should at least make an attempt at grasping the details of the core algorithms Knuth has explained, so that I have a strong understanding of the principles. Actually, most books that we're offered here are either too clumsily written, or have just plain inefficient pseudo-code implementations. Thanks a ton. –  yati sagade Aug 14 '11 at 18:21
If you are a CS student with a mathematical inclination go have a look at your local library (not the public one). They should have it. Then you can decide if you want to purchase it. –  user1249 Aug 14 '11 at 19:57
Yes, right! I've started reading fascicle 1 from the link you gave, and am already bowled by his sense of humour!! Thanks. –  yati sagade Aug 15 '11 at 8:32

You can read the prerelease fascicles for volume 4A as well. These are probably a better place to start than the brutally exhaustive description of MIX.


Also, if you're thinking of buying the volumes now, if Knuth gets 4B or 4C done before he dies you'll kick yourself for not waiting for the final authoritative 5-6 volume boxed set (aocp famously comes in a huge box, and with 4A it got even huger)

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