Have you ever wondered how your GPS can find the fastest way to your destination, selecting one route from seemingly countless possibilities in mere seconds? How your credit card account number is protected when you make a purchase over the Internet? The answer is algorithms. And how do these mathematical formulations translate themselves into your GPS, your laptop, or your smart phone? This book offers an engagingly written guide to the basics of computer algorithms. In Algorithms Unlocked, Thomas Cormen—coauthor of the leading college textbook on the subject—provides a general explanation, with limited mathematics, of how algorithms enable computers to solve problems.
Readers will learn what computer algorithms are, how to describe them, and how to evaluate them. They will discover simple ways to search for information in a computer; methods for rearranging information in a computer into a prescribed order (“sorting”); how to solve basic problems that can be modeled in a computer with a mathematical structure called a “graph” (useful for modeling road networks, dependencies among tasks, and financial relationships); how to solve problems that ask questions about strings of characters such as DNA structures; the basic principles behind cryptography; fundamentals of data compression; and even that there are some problems that no one has figured out how to solve on a computer in a reasonable amount of time.
About the Author
Thomas H. Cormen is Professor of Computer Science and former Director of the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric at Dartmouth College. He is the coauthor (with Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, and Clifford Stein) of the leading textbook on computer algorithms, Introduction to Algorithms (third edition, MIT Press, 2009).
“Algorithms are at the center of computer science. This is a unique book in its attempt to open the field of algorithms to a wider audience. It provides an easy-to-read introduction to an abstract topic, without sacrificing depth. This is an important contribution and there is nobody more qualified than Thomas Cormen to bridge the knowledge gap between algorithms experts and the general public.”
—Frank Dehne, Chancellor’s Professor of Computer Science, Carleton University
“Thomas Cormen has written an engaging and readable survey of basic algorithms. The enterprising reader with some exposure to elementary computer programming will discover insights into the key algorithmic techniques that underlie efficient computation.”
—Phil Klein, Professor, Department of Computer Science, Brown University
“Thomas Cormen helps readers to achieve a broad understanding of the key algorithms underlying much of computer science. For computer science students and practitioners, it is a great review of key algorithms that every computer scientist must understand. For non-practitioners, it truly unlocks the world of algorithms at the heart of the tools we use every day.”
—G. Ayorkor Korsah, Computer Science Department, Ashesi University College
CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, 2013