one of the most enjoyable and informative books i've read in some time--probably my favorite of this year, thus far. his constant shitting on religionone of the most enjoyable and informative books i've read in some time--probably my favorite of this year, thus far. his constant shitting on religion gets a bit tiresome, like a teenage militant atheist (might or might not have been one of these myself, once upon a time...), but other than that it's a calliope of wonder and the written word. you thought you were literate, perhaps, but truly you were not. great footnotes, also. i see myself giving away many gift copies....more

An extraordinary text for those of us with no desire to become professional physicists. Rather than focusing on technical derivations andReview 1000!

An extraordinary text for those of us with no desire to become professional physicists. Rather than focusing on technical derivations and the more complex mathematical methods and approximation schemes found in standard advanced undergraduate and graduate texts, Tipler expounds -- with understandable, solid writing -- on those problems of modern physics which will be encountered by engineer-scientists such as myself. Most of my physicist friends hold this book in disdain, and understandably so: the mathematics are indeed hand-wavy, and I don't feel this book would give you the background one needs to move into serious graduate physics (for instance, I know more solid-state physics, despite not having taken a class in that subject, than this book gets into). For those of us merely needing to calculate band gaps, resistance to thermal damage, and conductivity, though, the presentation is lucid and at just the right level of difficulty. Knowledge of the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalisms (the point at which I typically say 'fuck it', being generally bewildered by classical mechanics and regrettably undeft, these days at least, with symplectic manifolds) is unnecessary, though (as in Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers) you'll need fluency with linear and angular momenta concepts, as well as a head for ∂EQs. Good treatment of relativistic mechanics, where appropriate.

I read the Fourth Edition (on loan from a friend downstairs), comparing it with my Third Edition (purchased after reading the first few chapters), and feel you could get by with either one. The problem sets look somewhat improved in the Fourth Edition, though.

One star deducted due to much material having been moved from the book to the webpage....more

this is a minor cult classic among EE's and CmpE's, or at least was at GT. i saw it on someone's desk today at NVIDIA, was reminded that i'd intendedthis is a minor cult classic among EE's and CmpE's, or at least was at GT. i saw it on someone's desk today at NVIDIA, was reminded that i'd intended to look into it, and needed only a few pages to convince me of a winner. looks fantastic!...more

my best friend Twitch gave me this at trivia 2010-12-26. i promptly brought it home and read, enthralled, until 0545 or so. my date was pissed off, bumy best friend Twitch gave me this at trivia 2010-12-26. i promptly brought it home and read, enthralled, until 0545 or so. my date was pissed off, but Mssr. Garner and I danced the night away. every true pedant ought acquire and become intimate with a copy. beyond that, i can't say much more beyond DFW's Harper's review (which anyone not damaged in a profound, Oliver Sacksish-way will enjoy).

as another reviewer below has already claimed, this will likely find place on my desk as the first non-math book worth keeping at ready hand....more

it has finally arrived! oh, it's beautiful! ----- !!!!!!!! excitement!!!!!!!!! just preordered my copy!

as a client in good standing of the Bank of San Sit has finally arrived! oh, it's beautiful! ----- !!!!!!!! excitement!!!!!!!!! just preordered my copy!

More than anything save perhaps "WarGames", this book changed my life and set it off on its current direction. A great, great classic. Full text is avMore than anything save perhaps "WarGames", this book changed my life and set it off on its current direction. A great, great classic. Full text is available here....more

Wow, that was absolutely beautiful! Thanks for the heads-up, Alex! I really, really wish I'd have had this book back as a senior or junior in high schWow, that was absolutely beautiful! Thanks for the heads-up, Alex! I really, really wish I'd have had this book back as a senior or junior in high school; I'd have been able to plan out my math classes early on much better (why on earth did I take Dynamics and Bifurcations?!?! and how did I avoid taking a serious vector spaces/manifold calculus class? would have been nice for upper-level physics! oh well!). I think this will be my default high school graduation present to anyone with an inkling of mathematical talent from now on (rather than the more intimidating Road to Reality, which likely just frightens people).

As they said in Mathematical Review, "A work of extraordinary perfection."...more

truly a glorious book -- wow, this is a 300-pound black mamba she-bitch pisscutter for sure. no two-day read right here! --- found in a reference on Z-curtruly a glorious book -- wow, this is a 300-pound black mamba she-bitch pisscutter for sure. no two-day read right here! --- found in a reference on Z-curves, which are pretty much the hotness...more

did i never review this??! i thought for sure i had! oh man this is the book god read before he coded the universe. sloooow going, but don't be dauntedid i never review this??! i thought for sure i had! oh man this is the book god read before he coded the universe. sloooow going, but don't be daunted. --- Amazon 2009-07-07. I'm looking forward to this being the most exciting thing I've read in months, maybe years....more

Amazon 2009-06-18. Where it all started, communication networks-wise. Perhaps the last great work of amateur science (I forget where I picked up thisAmazon 2009-06-18. Where it all started, communication networks-wise. Perhaps the last great work of amateur science (I forget where I picked up this conjecture), "amateur" here being defined as anyone without a PhD (as opposed to "gentleman scientists" of a bygone era, men like Darwin, Lavoisier and Porter -- although, as emphasized in astronomy, this era may be returning with the advent of high-powered workstations and diffusion of open source simulation software. Gentleman science is pretty cool). The Mathematical Theory was published in 1948 and set up Shannon -- and the computing industry -- for life.

This work built on his 1937 masters thesis, "A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits", referred to on Wikipedia as "the most famous masters thesis of all time" and expected to retain that title until I get my shit published in a year or so here (malicious grin)....more

Amazon 2009-06-17. Wow, this is *REALLY GOOD* so far, definitely the best of several computational complexity books I've ever read (as the first majorAmazon 2009-06-17. Wow, this is *REALLY GOOD* so far, definitely the best of several computational complexity books I've ever read (as the first major publishing event in complexity theory since Aaronson's development of the Complexity Zoo, perhaps there was a higher bar to leap). Seventeen thirty-two, personal note: my signature lifts a quote from the Complexity Zoo:

Nondeterministic Polynomial-Time: The class of dashed hopes and idle dreams...

The book was clearly designed with the assumption that Sipser's modern classic Introduction to the Theory of Computation would be used as an undergraduate precursor; besides referencing Sipser several times early on (and his role heading up MIT's Math department, a group the authors are -- from the Foreward -- definitely good pals with (the authors themselves hail from Princeton, where I had no idea but Brian Kernighan and Robert Sedgewick are still faculty (of course I knew Andrew Appel, Edward Felten, and Robert Tarjan were still there, and Andrew Yao/Richard Lipton's emeritus status (but we've got Lipton now, motherfuckers!)))). The book takes off almost directly from where Sipser's study of complexity ends, with a deep study of p≤ polynomial-time Karp reducibility (well, actually it starts with deterministic TM's, but as I've studied the 7-parameter TM formalism since I was thirteen or so, I didn't look at Chapter 1 too closely (I *do* applaud their Claim 1.6: single-tape simulation of k-tape TM's in time 5kT(n)^2 -- this kind of rigorous, strong presentation is welcomed -- and ESPECIALLY the early presentation of oblivious Turing Machines (those which care only about the input length, not the input content), as this simplifies many a proof later on (most authors, if they introduce OTM's at all, do so only as a curiousity and not as a fundamental proof mechanism))). The heavy emphasis throughout on the dual miracles of randomization and modern crypto (including more advanced topics like derandomization, the probabilistic complexity classes, pseudorandomization and hardness amplification) will hopefully result in these topics being more deeply embedded within classical theory classes, as they should be. Furthermore, being placed (for the first time?) on the same footing as automata and the Hierarchy means that relevant issues are addressed throughout -- the implication that P == NP, for instance, would mean that nothing is to be gained from randomized algorithms, was entirely new to me *despite* having taken Lipton's Randomized Algorithms class and having read both of the two major books on the subject (Motwani + Raghavan and Mitzenmacher + Upfal). I can fairly say that realizing this obvious truth blew my mind.

The book has wonderful quotes heading each chapter, which I just can't say enough about. Computer scientists don't know nearly enough of the rich history of their study (I'm regularly scandalized when I run into graduate students -- not the ladies and man-ladies in things like Human-Computer Interaction, but real apprentice computer scientists -- who don't know the names of Church, Rabin, Aho, Hamming and Hoare. I want to punch these ingrates in the face), and things like this can only help. The bibliography and citations are kind of sparse, but the important ones are there, and the authors are as current with the literature as one would hope (I was pleased to see the newly-seminal AKS2004 referenced early on).

Be sure to check out section 2.7.3, "The P == NP Utopia", for a special treat -- coverage of the implications of that most foul heresy, the majority of which I'd heard elsewhere, but only as single, whispered perversions -- with a look forward to chapter 5, its coverage of the polynomial hierarchy, and a surprise or two regarding MIN-EQ-DNF (btw, if you've never read it, Aaronson's tongue-in-cheek "Polynomial Hierarchy Collapses" is one of the funniest things ever written).

One comment -- the exercises, so far, are both really fucking weird and really fucking difficult. I am not sure I'd want to use this book's problem sets as self-study; classics like Papadimitriou are still the best in this arena, IMHO.

I'm not yet done, and this might yet get its fifth star -- we'll see. What is certain, however, is that there is a new standard reference for undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and professionals interested in the majestic sweep of complexity theory, and its authors are Sanjeev Arora and Boaz Barak....more

OMG this looks fantastic! How'd I miss it? And why on earth is the hardcover $118 despite being in-print? That's quite a chunk of change for some essaOMG this looks fantastic! How'd I miss it? And why on earth is the hardcover $118 despite being in-print? That's quite a chunk of change for some essays and an "illustrated edition" -- what the hell kind of illustration does one provide for theorems of algorithmic information complexity, for that matter? I'm going to try and find out, and then pick up either this or the paperback version...(update Sun May 24 16:45:34 EDT 2009 acquired new from Amazon, as some dickless motherfucker picked up the $20 used copy i had my eye on. Went for the cheaper paperback edition thanks to john.bova's insight.)...more

Quite enjoyable and an excellent unification of chemical detritus -- I especially appreciate Cox's detailed forays into geochemistry and biochemistry.Quite enjoyable and an excellent unification of chemical detritus -- I especially appreciate Cox's detailed forays into geochemistry and biochemistry. It's a fine example of the erudite New Englander/British gentleman science genre (one foot in Dirac's classroom, another firmly down in some London public school hellhole youth spent kicking it with Eric Blair, studying Euclid, and developing a stiff upper lip through regular beatings), and would have been an awesome freshman seminar. Unfortunately, it suffers from two major flaws: an otherwise quite noble effort at covering nucleosynthesis and cosmochemistry, especially photodisintegration and the s- and r-processes of supernovae, is done no good by a recently obsoleted grasp of supernova science (supernova modeling improving pretty much linearly with respect to how many FLOPS the computers at national labs can soak out of old FORTRAN programs) -- for better material here, I advise Arnett's Supernovae and Nucleosynthesis and Pagel's Nucleosynthesis and Chemical Evolution of Galaxies, both suitable for any advanced undergraduate student. Secondly, the text was, after all, aimed at freshman. Given that the average freshman could be buried in a matchbox if given an enema to rinse him free of bullshit, this results in one of those horrifying qualitative treatments of quantum physics that serves only to frustrate the initiated, and leave the rest talking in confused parables about half-dead cats and gods that either do or do not roll dice. Amazon third party, 2009-04-24. Cited in The Periodic Kingdom....more

This is the new best book on string algorithms, replacing Navarro's Flexible Pattern Matching in Strings at the top. Actually, picking Navarro up, spiThis is the new best book on string algorithms, replacing Navarro's Flexible Pattern Matching in Strings at the top. Actually, picking Navarro up, spinning him around a few times, and hurling him into a pit through which he falls for five-thousand years (and I *really* liked Navarro's book -- it totally set my efforts at the job (then Reflex Security, where I was building the Reflex Interceptor IPS) in a new direction back in 2003). One of the best computer science textbooks I've ever seen. If you do string algorithms, this ought be the first book on your shelf. ------ Amazon 2008-12-30. I bit the bullet and grabbed a new copy -- I didn't want 2008 to close without securing what promises to be a rare and exquisite treat. Maxime Crochemore (link de-Gaullized for your pleasure) is certifiably: da man, and a delighted stringalg community has been waiting for this with breath bated.

(was: YAY! Crochemore published in 2006 my favorite text on combinatorial matching, Jewels of Stringology (with Wojciech Rytter). Between Crochemore, Rytter and Navarro, Old Europe and South America are pulling ahead in the combinatorial automata racket...I intend to change all that, though =) (malicious grin). Anyway, this is sure to be an epic treatment of my all-time most beloved area of algorithms, with likely applications to my day-to-day work both in the laboratory and at the office.)...more

finally spent some serious quality time with this, reading it through aside from those sections (only about 1/4; not too bad, not too bad!) of which ifinally spent some serious quality time with this, reading it through aside from those sections (only about 1/4; not too bad, not too bad!) of which i could make neither heads nor tails, lacking too many years' preparatory material (primarily the geometry. analysis and algebra were both just wonderful, especially since they got the magnificent Terrence Tao to write most of the analysis). i think i actually finally learned some calculus of variations from this exercise -- hurrah (lord knows it's been long enough; i first heard of functional analysis a decade ago or so, and have just never had the time)! everyone should own this book. ---- Amazon 2008-10-24. It finally got published (on my 28th birthday, none the less!), after a long year of eager waiting! Ooooooooh, I'm excited! I forget where I first heard about this, but here's a recent review from Not Even Wrong:

I just recently got my hands on a copy of the new Princeton Companion to Mathematics, and I fear that this is likely to seriously impact my ability to get things done for a while, as I devote too much time to happily reading many of its more than 1000 pages.

The book is an amazing document (and physically, a beautiful, if weighty object), unlike anything else I know of. Its coverage of mathematics and mathematical culture is very wide and sometimes deep, but it makes no attempt to be comprehensive. Thus, the accurate title “Companion to” rather than “Encyclopedia of”. The most remarkable aspect of the book is the extremely high quality of the contributions from a large number of different authors. It includes many wonderful long expository articles, mostly at a level that a good undergraduate math student could hope to appreciate, with much of the book accessible to an even wider audience. The articles are often written by some of the best researchers and expositors around. For example, one can find Barry Mazur writing on Algebraic Numbers, Janos Kollar on Algebraic Geometry, Cliff Taubes on Differential Topology, Ingrid Daubechies on Wavelets, Persi Diaconis on Mathematical Statistics, and many, many others of similar quality. The table of contents is available here.

The book also includes extensive articles on historical topics in mathematics and short biographies of a large number of mathematicians, as well as coverage of applications and a section largely devoted to describing the art of problem-solving and how mathematics really gets created. This section includes a beautiful set of five essays called “Advice to a Young Mathematician”, which give five different equally fascinating perspectives from some of the best in the subject about how they achieved what they did, as well as what they have learned from years of helping students become researchers. The authors of these pieces are Michael Atiyah, Bela Bollobas, Alain Connes, Dusa McDuff, and Peter Sarnak. Luckily for all young (and old) mathematicians, this chapter is freely available here.

The person most responsible for this is clearly the editor (and author of some of the pieces), Fields Medalist Timothy Gowers, who had help from many others, including fellow Fields Medalist Terry Tao. Gowers has a weblog, and he has written about the book in these entries (and there’s a podcast interviewing him on the book web-site at PUP). Terry Tao has a posting about the book here.

If you’re looking for a gift for someone with a serious interest in mathematics, no matter what their background, you won’t do any better than this....more

Penrose came to GT and gave an open lecture on cosmic parameters and cosmological arguments from the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (chapter 27 in this booPenrose came to GT and gave an open lecture on cosmic parameters and cosmological arguments from the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (chapter 27 in this book, one of the most ambitious and impressive -- if incomplete, a bit uneven, and just as taxing as you've heard -- catechisms I've ever read), and a closed lecture on twistor theory (chapter 33), and signed my copy! w00t! I shook Sir Roger's hand as trillions of neutrinos passed through us both, completely undetected, our entangled R-type state evolution leaving an indelible imprint on all our lightcones forevermore at the cost of a little more entropy, order traded for disorder in the guise of order, orderly. ...more

man, went and reread most of this (up through "thermonuclear reaction rates", including most of the work due to Bethe/Fowler and of course the Virialman, went and reread most of this (up through "thermonuclear reaction rates", including most of the work due to Bethe/Fowler and of course the Virial Theorem). it's rare you get such an awesome textbook, especially out of despised clemson!...more