The Art of Computer Programming

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History and Development of “The Art of Computer Programming”
Donald Knuth’s education and early career at Burroughs Corporation
– Proposal and expansion of the book from a single volume to seven volumes
– Support from Richard S. Varga

Assembly Language in the Book
– Use of MIX assembly language and MIX computer in the examples
– Transition to the use of MMIX computer, a RISC version
– Emulation software available for MIX architecture
– Importance of assembly language for algorithm speed and memory usage

Critical Response to “The Art of Computer Programming”
Donald Knuth’s Turing Award for contributions to algorithm analysis and computer programming
– Recognition as the first and best comprehensive treatment of computer programming
– Inclusion in the list of 100 Books that shaped a Century of Science
– Endorsement by Bill Gates and recognition by The New York Times

Volumes and Editions of “The Art of Computer Programming”
– Publication details and page counts of Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3
– Separate ISBN and availability of errata/addenda for each volume
– Coverage of fundamental algorithms, seminumerical algorithms, sorting and searching, and combinatorial algorithms
– Previous editions and their publication details

Volumes and Fascicles of “The Art of Computer Programming”
– Publication details and contents of Volume 4A and Volume 4B
– Manuscript submission and publication timeline for Volume 4
– Planned Fascicle 7 for Volume 4C
– Various boxed sets and their publication details
– Details of individual fascicles and pre-fascicles for Volume 4 and Volume 1

The Art of Computer Programming (TAOCP) is a comprehensive monograph written by the computer scientist Donald Knuth presenting programming algorithms and their analysis. Volumes 1–5 are intended to represent the central core of computer programming for sequential machines.

The Art of Computer Programming
The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms
AuthorDonald Knuth
CountryUnited States
Publication date
1968– (the book is still incomplete)
Media typePrint (Hardcover)
LC ClassQA76.75

When Knuth began the project in 1962, he originally conceived of it as a single book with twelve chapters. The first three volumes of what was then expected to be a seven-volume set were published in 1968, 1969, and 1973. Work began in earnest on Volume 4 in 1973, but was suspended in 1977 for work on typesetting prompted by the second edition of Volume 2. Writing of the final copy of Volume 4A began in longhand in 2001, and the first online pre-fascicle, 2A, appeared later in 2001. The first published installment of Volume 4 appeared in paperback as Fascicle 2 in 2005. The hardback Volume 4A, combining Volume 4, Fascicles 0–4, was published in 2011. Volume 4, Fascicle 6 ("Satisfiability") was released in December 2015; Volume 4, Fascicle 5 ("Mathematical Preliminaries Redux; Backtracking; Dancing Links") was released in November 2019.

Volume 4B consists of material evolved from Fascicles 5 and 6. The manuscript was sent to the publisher on August 1, 2022, and the volume was published in September 2022. Fascicle 7, planned for Volume 4C, was the subject of Knuth's talk on August 3, 2022.

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