Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-3 Boxed Set” as Want to Read:
The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-3 Boxed Set
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-3 Boxed Set

(Art of Computer Programming)

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  730 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Knuth's classic work has been widely acclaimed as one of the most influential works in the field of computer science. For the first time, these books are available as a boxed, three-volume set. The handsome slipcase makes this set an ideal gift for the recent computer science graduate or professional programmer. Offering a description of classical computer science, this mu ...more
Boxed Set - Hardcover, 3rd Edition, 896 pages
Published October 15th 1998 by Addison-Wesley Professional
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  730 ratings  ·  36 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-3 Boxed Set
Ean Schuessler
Jan 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is the Harry Potter series for REAL wizards.
Nick Black
Feb 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Perfection itself. Every few months I have to go back to my Knuth for some forgotten analysis or modeling, and it's always a savory treat -- I know no other books so dense and overflowing with rare and obscenely useful tricks, so immense in their scope and successful in coverage thereof; there's really nothing approachable in computer science or, so far as I know, in any field (the Hilbert-Courant volumes or Thorne's Gravitation might compare, if their subjects weren't so much vaster than comput ...more
Jan 28, 2008 marked it as to-read
Shelves: gave-up-on
Jesus christ, this is some heavy duty stuff. As a calculus 2 dropout, I might hit the wall early, but I really want to fight through this as much as I can before my head explodes.

The mouseover to Randall's cartoon says:

'Dear Reader: Enclosed is a cheque for 98 cents. Using your work, I have proved this equals the amount you requested.'

Nick provides a proper review...

Oh. It's full of jokes, by the way. Just as well I didn't have my cup of tea in hand when I came upon this one:

4. [M50] Prove that when n is an integer, n > 2, the equation xn + yn = zn has no solution in positive integers x, y, z. (NB the book was published in the 1960
Dan Sutton
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As programmers, this is our bible, along with "A method of programming" by E. W. Dijkstra, which somehow manages to condense into its few pages most of what Knuth expresses in these three (now four) large volumes. Nevertheless, "The Art of Computer Programming" represents an absolute in terms of exposition of the process: no programmer should be without the knowledge contained within. Where Dijkstra, the European, represents a terse, quick method of thinking with huge leaps of intuition, fierce ...more
Jul 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
The definitive work on programming; without a doubt there is no more important book on Computer Science. However, it's almost totally impenetrable. I haven't read even a quarter of this, and fully understood much less, but that's nothing to be ashamed of, as probably no one else has either. All the examples are in a made up assembly language, and Knuth invented his own typesetting system to publish it, which became widespread and famous.

The perfect Coffee table book.
Keith Walfson
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The book is an excellent read, and I'm quite certain it has contributed a great deal to helping me imrpove as a professional. I can't recommend it enough, especially for SENIOR developers. I'm not sure about junior developers though. ...more
Jul 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Say hello to the monograph on computer programming. Don't roll your own without it.

I expect this'll be on my "currently reading" shelf for a few years. It's not exactly quick going.
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Some people consider these books a sort of bible for computer programmers. I wouldn't go so far. A bible always assumes some form of religion. And that would make the author a kind of deity, a pedestal upon which he certainly would not want to be put. If you like to read a "bible-ish" book by Donald Knuth read 3:16.

I learned a great deal from these books. As a poor student I could only afford to buy Volume 3 (Sorting and Searching). The other two I borrowed or read directly at the library (while
Appu Shaji
Dec 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I got the first edition of this book more than 10 years back. I have read (and re-read) the series in book in parts over the years, and every time I was impressed by the scholarly mastery and precision of the author. This arguably, is `the' most important text in computer science.

AOCP, along with Computer Algorithms by Corman, Leiserson and Rivest are the first books I turn to whenever I have an upcoming challenge or interview. Pinnacle of Precision!
Ali Kalantari
Oct 18, 2008 is currently reading it
Reading it as a book for Advanced programming reference. But I think I'll read it completely when it's last day of my life ...more
Anushree Rastogi
Jan 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'd give this book more than 5 stars if I could. If you ever thought writing a piece of code is eerily similar to painting.. or writing a poem, this is the book for you. ...more
Mohammad Huwaidi
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
These three volumes are okay to follow, but the following volumes that Knuth did not publish yet are very very hard to grasp.
This is one of those sets of books you put on your shelf so that people will recognize you as a Serious Programmer. I don't know anyone who has actually READ them, other than college students who were forced to do it. I actually used it as a reference once when I was writing a sort, but then I tossed my code and used library code, because when it comes down to it, who wants to write a sort by yourself???

I've read some other stuff Knuth has written, and he's actually a pretty good author. I would
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scince-fiction
I haven't read these all the way through mind you, but these books along with the five Fascicles make up the greatest programing reference available, not for any language mind you, but programing in general, meta-programing if you well. Algorithms galore, sorting, and searching, and etc. If your looking for a solution to a programing problem its probibly here. Required for intermediate level skill and up, not for beginners. ...more
Apr 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I remember finding this book at a university library and, having heard of it, picked it to see why was it special. The book had a profound and lasting effect on the way I had to write computer programs, both academically and professionally. A must for computer science lovers.
Curtis Schofield
Sep 08, 2010 marked it as to-read
I'm going to order this to hold up my monitor and then hold the inner world and dream a dream with you.

Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technical
What's old is new again; techniques developed for Memory Drum and Tape based machines that fell out of favor are showing their worth again in data heavy and cloud based environments. ...more
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
never really read the the volumes cover to cover but ive been reading this book for over 2 year now. recommended.
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ok, so there are very few people who have 'read' this. But I've had this for years and still reach for it for reference and just browsing. ...more
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: computer-systems
Best algorithms reference out there, though it's often quite dense & it's useful to cross-reference with something simpler, like Algorithms in a Nutshell. ...more
Brandon Ferguson
Oct 16, 2007 marked it as to-read
What I learned? That I need more freaking math and I shouldn't expect to read more than 10-20 pages in a given sitting. =D ...more
Mar 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: work
A must have set of texts for any programmer.
Oct 21, 2008 marked it as to-read
yet another foundational text in computing
Dec 27, 2008 marked it as to-read
Never I get to cover more than Page 1...
Mike Pham
Dec 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
A must for any computer scientist.
Paul Cohen
Dec 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: computing
Immaculate. Sharp. Deep. Immense. Inspiring. A deep well of discrete mathematics and programming fundamentals.
Vivek Attri
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
All the programming concepts greatly explained.
Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Exquisitely dense and almost impossibly difficult to the point of unintelligibility for most humans, including people with a degree in CS.
Rick Eversole
Must have set of reference books for every serious computer programmer. While not an easy read, the depth of coverage is exceptional.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Introduction to Algorithms
  • Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)
  • The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
  • Beautiful Code: Leading Programmers Explain How They Think
  • Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment
  • Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software
  • Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming
  • The Road to Serfdom
  • A History of Western Philosophy
  • Quality Is Still Free: Making Quality Certain in Uncertain Times
  • Refactoring to Patterns
  • Python for Data Analysis
  • Computer Organization & Design: The Hardware/Software Interface
  • Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools
  • Python Essential Reference (Developer's Library)
  • Europe: A History
  • Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil
  • The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
See similar books…

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »
Donald Ervin Knuth, born January 10th 1938, is a renowned computer scientist and Professor Emeritus of the Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University.

Author of the seminal multi-volume work The Art of Computer Programming ("TAOCP"), Knuth has been called the "father" of the analysis of algorithms, contributing to the development of, and systematizing formal mathematical techniques for, the

Other books in the series

Art of Computer Programming (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms
  • The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 2: Seminumerical Algorithms
  • The Art of Computer Programming: Volume 3: Sorting and Searching
  • Introduction To Combinatorial Algorithms And Boolean Functions
  • The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 4, Fascicle 0: Introduction to Combinatorial Algorithms and Boolean Functions
  • The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 4, Fascicle 1: Bitwise Tricks & Techniques; Binary Decision Diagrams
  • The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 4, Fascicle 2: Generating All Tuples and Permutations
  • The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 4, Fascicle 3: Generating All Combinations and Partitions
  • The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 4, Fascicle 4: Generating All Trees--History of Combinatorial Generation
  • Generating All Trees History Of Combinatorial Generation

Related Articles

  Walter Isaacson, it’s safe to say, is not afraid of tackling the really big topics. In 2011, he wrote about our ubiquitous computer culture...
51 likes · 8 comments