Austin Schwartz

Concrete Mathematics

June 21, 2019

Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it.
― Donald Knuth

This past Christmas, I was gifted a boxed set of The Art of Computer Programming by Donald Knuth. For years I’ve seen other programmers recommend this tomb. It is notorious for being extremely difficult but being chocked full of both practical and not-so-practical knowledge. It’s a frequent brag that someone has read some amount of the The Art of Computer Programming, although.

Giddy after receiving my present, I started reading through the first volume but kept running into indecipherable math equations. Unfortunately, my Math background is a bit spotty, mostly just having completed the necessary prerequisites for my CS courses.

Googling around for anyone having the same problem, it appears that Concrete Mathematics: A Foundation for Computer Science by Knuth, Graham, and Patashnik is exactly what I’m looking for. It’s somewhat meant as a math primer for The Art of Computer Programming, or Computer Science in general.

I intend to start reading through Concrete Mathematics, posting my solutions here on this blog. Attempting to find similar posts online didn’t yield much, so hopefully this might be of use to someone in my same position.