What are the best essential books for computer science?

asked by Anonymous
267 contributors
14 solutions
  1. 36

    #1The C Programming Language

    The C Programming Language

    The C Programming Language is the new version of the complete guide to ANSI standard C language programming written by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie. The first edition of the book was written in 1978. 

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    Paul Harrison
    Written on March 26, 2018
    "Everyone should have at least the basic skills in C programming. I bought this with a beginners guide in mind. I thought it was just going to give me the basics. But that was not the case. I learned more than what a beginner will. If you know c programming and even want to optimize your skills you should also be buying it . Its one of the older ones but stands the test of time. "
  2. 33

    #2Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software

    Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software
    CODE is written by Charles Petzold is carefully written and researched programming book that will appeal to anyone who wants to understand computer technology at its essence.
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    Johnny Peterson
    Written on March 17, 2018
    "I was a computer science major but that was 10 years ago. Since then a lot of things have changed. I've tried to stay relevant, and one way I do that is by reading. So when I was looking for essential books for computer science I came across," code: the hidden language of computer hardware and software" and it scratched my technology itch. Charles Petzold really got into depth with this book and how it covers both the technological side as well as the programming side of things. Is book really is all-encompassing and covers last 40 Years of computer science. If you're looking for a truly essential book for computer science I suggest, " code: the hidden language of computer hardware and software" if you're anything like me. This is definitely going in my top 10 list."
  3. 32

    #3Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!

    Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!

    Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!: A Beginner's Guide is written by Miran Lipovaca introducing programmers to familiar with imperative languages such as C++, Java, or Python to the unique aspects of functional programming.

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    Edward Cooper
    Written on March 17, 2018
    "I've always been interested in many different topic and reading is one of my favorite hobbies. I recently read Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!: A Beginner's Guide because I wanted to learn more about computer programming and this was very informational. I enjoyed how they started at the beginning with basic topics and then worked their way up to more difficult concepts and skills. The book has something for everyone and their are a lot of tips to help get you started. The book has humor and nice pictures as well. This is one of the best books to get if you're interesting in learning more about programming and languages such as C++."
  1. 29

    #4A Discipline of Programming

    A Discipline of Programming

    A Discipline of Programming is a book written by Edsger W. Dijkstra which presents ways to reason about programming with predicate calculus and demonstrations, with false starts and all.

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    Edward Keller
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "A Discipline of Programming is a really helpful resource for any student or professional. The presentation in this book is top notch. The concepts are broken down well for easy understanding. I highly suggest buying."
  2. 29

    #5The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master

    The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master

    The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master is about software engineering written by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas which tackles the increasing specialization and technicalities of modern software development.

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    Andrew Robinson
    Written on March 19, 2018
    "The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master is a book that every software engineer and programmer should read. This book perfectly outlines the best practices and the need to always improve in the computer science industry. Even though this book was originally released years ago, this book still holds up today. "
  3. 26

    #6Introduction to the Theory of Computation

    Introduction to the Theory of Computation

    The Introduction to the Theory of Computation is the anticipated revision of its first edition book published by Course Technology. This new edition incorporates many improvements students and professors have suggested over the years. 

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    Benito Trejo
    Written on March 26, 2018
    "This particular book doesn't seem to have a large number of user reviews, but it does have previous releases that have more reviews. All things considered, it does seem to be a fairly popular book, and it fits my needs here extremely well."
  4. 24

    #7An Introduction to Functional Programming Through Lambda Calculus

    An Introduction to Functional Programming Through Lambda Calculus

    An Introduction to Functional Programming Through Lambda Calculus is written by Greg Michaelson offering an accessible introduction to functional programming concepts and techniques for students of mathematics and computer science. 

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    Janice Stevens
    Written on March 19, 2018
    "Pretty good textbook. Wish it went more in-depth in some areas."
  5. 24

    #8Concrete Mathematics: A Foundation for Computer Science (2nd Edition)

    Concrete Mathematics: A Foundation for Computer Science (2nd Edition)

    Concrete Mathematics: A Foundation for Computer Science is the second edition of the book written by Ronald L. Graham, Donald Ervin Knuth, Oren Patashnik, which was published in 1988 by Addison-Wesley Professional.

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    Janet Wood
    Written on March 25, 2018
    "I like to get some books for just to study. This one is one of those books where you can learn a little as you read. Really isn't my cup of tea but if you're just wanting it for the computer science part, then go for it. Not very good on attention grabbing but, what computer science book do you know that does?"
  6. 19

    #9The STREAM TONE

    The STREAM TONE
    The STREAM TONE: The Future of Personal Computing? is a nonfiction book about technology written by T. Gilling. This book about a computing device in the future was originally published in 2014.

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    Adam Curtis
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "I read this book in college when we were studying Computer Science. This book was such an eye opener and made me like the class so much that I was motivated to discover more about the topic. Definitely recommend it. "
  7. 1

    #10Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (2nd Edition)

    Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (2nd Edition)

    Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (2nd Edition) is a textbook written by Harold Abelson and Gerald Jay Sussman. Published in 1996 by MIT Press, it focuses on new implementations of major programming systems.

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    Martha Olson
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "I got this for my son, who is majoring in computer science at Carnegie Mellon. He said that it has really helped him go into more depth with the subject, and that the tests in the book keep him sharp."
  8. 0

    #11The Nature of Computation

    The Nature of Computation
    The Nature of Computation is a textbook written by Christopher Moore and Stephan Mertens. Published in 2011 by Oxford University Press, it focuses on the computational complexity of modern mathematics.
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    Anna Howell
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "This book provides an in depth look into mathematics and how it applies to every aspect of our world. Any student in the computer science industry would appreciate a book such as this."
  9. 0

    #12Computational Complexity: A Modern Approach

    Computational Complexity: A Modern Approach

    Computational Complexity is a textbook written by Sanjeev Arora and Boaz Barak. Published in 2009 by Cambridge University Press, it focuses on the computational complexity theories on modern mathematics.

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    Tian Ye
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "Computational Complexity: A Modern Approach is less abut basic compter science concepts, and more about complexity theories. This is a very deep concept that not all will be able to follow. A number of typos in the proofs are cause for concern. This is not for the faint of heart for sure."
  10. 0

    #13Machine Learning: The New AI (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

    Machine Learning: The New AI (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

    Machine Learning: The New AI (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series) is a computer engineering reference book written by Ethem Alpaydin. It was published October 7, 2016 by The MIT Press.

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    Abhinav Trivedi
    Written on May 20, 2018
    "I would have given this book three stars, but as it so prominently displays "MIT Press" I am holding it to a slightly higher expectation level. It's not a very good book. I have three main complaints. First, the editing is atrocious, or maybe there simply was no editing. There are many very simple typo errors that should have been caught by even a novice editor, or perhaps by a machine editor. It's not a huge deal but it makes the book seem rushed. My second complaint is that the material is incredibly basic. If you know anything about computers, the first thirty pages (out of 200) can be skipped. After that it is still incredibly basic but might have some material that is new to a novice to this area. And finally, as others have noted, the structure of the book is very poor. It seems like the author may have just cranked this out in one sitting, without any consideration of how to present the material. Of course this is meant to be "conversational AI" rather than a real textbook, but it goes way beyond that into what I would call "stream of consciousness AI". Altogether these make for a less-than-satisfying read."
  11. 0

    #14The Self-Tracking (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

    The Self-Tracking (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

    The Self-Tracking (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series) is a computer science reference book written by Gina Neff and Dawn Nafus. It was published June 24, 2016 by The MIT Press.

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    Harini Chattopadhyay
    Written on May 17, 2018
    ""The Self-Tracking" is good, but it only focuses on tracking technology. A great book that's a bit more generalized would be "Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software" by Charles Petzold. "The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution" by Walter Isaacson is definitely another must read!"
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