|Author||Ronald Graham, Donald Knuth, and Oren Patashnik|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|Pages||657 pp (Second Edition)|
|LC Class||QA39.2 .G733 1994|
Contents and history
The book provides mathematical knowledge and skills for computer science, especially for the analysis of algorithms. According to the preface, the topics in Concrete Mathematics are "a blend of CONtinuous and disCRETE mathematics." Calculus is frequently used in the explanations and exercises. The term "concrete mathematics" also denotes a complement to "abstract mathematics".
The book is based on a course begun in 1970 by Knuth at Stanford University. The book expands on the material in the "Mathematical Preliminaries" section of Knuth's The Art of Computer Programming. Consequently, some readers use it as an introduction to that famous series of books.
Concrete Mathematics has an informal and often humorous style. The authors reject what they see as the dry style of most mathematics textbooks. The margins contain "mathematical graffiti", comments submitted by the text's first editors: Knuth and Patashnik's students at Stanford.
As with many of Knuth's books, readers are invited to claim a reward for any error found in the book—in this case, whether an error is "technically, historically, typographically, or politically incorrect."
- First Edition: September 1988 (ISBN 0-201-14236-8): Graham, Ronald L.; Knuth, Donald E.; Patashnik, Oren (1989). Concrete Mathematics. Advanced Book Program (First ed.). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. pp. xiv+625. ISBN 0-201-14236-8. MR 1001562.
- Second Edition: February 1994 (ISBN 0-201-55802-5): Graham, Ronald L.; Knuth, Donald E.; Patashnik, Oren (1994). Concrete Mathematics (Second ed.). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Professional. pp. xiv+657. ISBN 0-201-55802-5. MR 1397498.