Companion to the Papers of Donald Knuth

(Stanford, California: Center for the Study of Language and Information, 2011), xiii+441 pages.
(CSLI Lecture Notes, no. 202.)
ISBN 9781575866353 (cloth), 9781575866345 (paperback)

This book contains a combined index to the series of eight volumes that contains archival forms of Donald Knuth's papers. It also contains a definitive bibliography, together with a number of previously unpublished works. In particular, the transcripts of ten lunchtime conversations about Knuth's overall life as a computer scientist, conducted in the summer of 1996 by Dikran Karagueuzian, are included.

Here's the table of contents:

  1. Problems [Q16, Q34, ...]
  2. Solutions [Q57x, Q61x, ...]
  3. Teach Calculus with Big O [Q171x]
  4. Writing [R4x]
  5. Memories of Andrei Ershov [Q115]
  6. Theory and Practice and Fun
  7. Conversations, 1996: Prizes and Choices
  8. Conversations, 1996: Printing
  9. Conversations, 1996: Life
  10. Conversations, 1996: Printing (Continued)
  11. Conversations, 1996: Travel
  12. Conversations, 1996: Why Computer Science?
  13. Conversations, 1996: Work Habits and Problem Solving
  14. Conversations, 1996: Getting Started
  15. Conversations, 1996: Programming and Languages
  16. Conversations, 1996: Artificial Intelligence, Students, Retirement
  17. Conversations, 1996: Accidents, Planning, Naming
  18. Curriculum Vitæ
  19. Books and their Translations
  20. Annotated List of Papers
  21. Alphabetical Index of Titles
  22. Combined Index

This book can be ordered from the publisher (CSLI), and also from the distributor (University of Chicago Press).

In my view [the interviews are] worth at least half of the book's price [and the] overall index is a godsend. ... Every library featuring books on computing should have this Companion volume, whether or not they have the other books in the series.
As with all Knuth's writings and edited presentations and interviews, the non-lists-and-indexes part of the book is fascinating reading. The list-and-indexes part is up to Knuth's usual perfectionist standards. I am glad I now have this volume on my bookshelf. -- D. Walden (TUGboat, April 2012, page 118)


As usual, I promise to deposit 0x$1.00 ($2.56) to the account of the first person who finds and reports anything that remains technically, historically, typographically, or politically incorrect.

Errata to the First Printing

A very mysterious (and very distressing) bug in the distiller software used by the publisher to convert from PostScript to PDF, after I had furnished them with a letter-perfect PostScript file, has caused portions of several words to be shifted right from their proper position, following certain accent characters. I haven't been able to find any pattern to these occasional errors, except a tendency to choke on a macron (̄) accent every so often. But several quite ordinary accents have also been infected, seemingly at random. So far this unwanted glitch has been discovered in the following places:

page 197, line 5 (Gāo has been printed as G¯ao)
page 207, lines -9 and -10 (should say Sampō / Jōhō Kōzō)
page 209, line -12 (should say Sampō / Ransū)
page 209, line -10 (should say Sampō)
page 212, line 15 (should say permutărilor)
page 213, line 20 (should say Láng)
page 217, line 15 (should say Sūgaku)
page 217, line 19 (should say Valéria de Magalhães Iorio)
page 218, line 6 (should say Sampō)
page 219, line 1 (should say problèmes)
page 334, left column, line 2 (should say Dürer)
page 361, right column, line 25 (should say Itō)
page 362, left column, line 1 (should say Rhŷs)
page 398, left column, line 1 (should say Siméon)
page 401, left column, line 14 (should say Ramón)
page 410, left column, line -7 (should say Schläfli)

Here is a list of all the other nits that have been picked so far in the first printing (2011); an asterisk (*) marks technical errors that are not merely typographical:

page 141, line 25 (01 January 2012)
change "French baroque" to "Art Nouveau"
page 179, line -6 (03 February 2012)
change "somebody to knows" to "somebody who knows"
page 192, line 1 (15 January 2012)
change "set" to "sequence"
page 199, line 13 (03 Feb 2012)
change "cause" to "causa"
page 212, line 5 (17 Nov 2011)
change "정럴" to "정렬"
page 212, line 20 (03 Feb 2012)
change "кортежй" to "кортежей"
page 216, line 21 (18 Feb 2012)
change "440" to "441"
page 217, line 3 from the bottom
change "China Machine Press), in preparation." to "Posts & Telecom Press, 2013), xiii+564 pages."
page 218, bottom line (23 Feb 2012)
change "Industry), in preparation." to "Industry, 2011), xii+189 pages."
page 255, last line of entry Q94 (26 Feb 2012)
The sentence "New looks at Mona Lisa." belongs in entry Q93
page 294, line 12 from the bottom (03 Feb 2012)
change "кортежй" to "кортежей"
page 295, line 3 from the bottom (17 Nov 2011)
change "정럴" to "정렬"
page 328, new entry (12 Oct 2011)
de la Vega, see Fernandez de la Vega.
page 339, right column (12 Oct 2011)
change "Fernández de la Vega, Wenceslas" to "Fernandez de la Vega, Wenceslas “Lalo”"
page 351, new entry (15 Dec 2013)
Guth, Alan Harvey, LP 337.
page 351, right column, line -4 (12 Feb 2012)
change "hamilton" to "Hamilton"
page 372, left column (15 Dec 2013)
add page 322 to the references for Frank in LP
page 375, left column (08 August 2012)
change "Luke, Richard C." to "Luke, Richard Carlen"
page 397, left column, Pippenger entry (28 Jul 2012)
change "501" to "472, 501"
page 401, new entry (04 Oct 2011)
Python language, FG 160.
page 410, new entry (15 Dec 2013)
Scherlis, William Louis, LP 322.
page 433, new entry (12 Oct 2011)
Vega, see Fernandez de la Vega.
page 436, new entry (20 Sep 2011)
Whitfield, Arthur Raymond “Whit”, FG 399--400.

Errata to the Second Printing

In this list of known corrections to the second printing (2012), an asterisk (*) marks technical errors that are not merely typographical:

page 95, line 14 (06 April 2012)
change "Institute Blaise" to "Institut Blaise"
page 98, line -5 (08 March 2012)
change "we`re" to "we're"
page 100, line 22 (08 March 2012)
change "You`ve" to "You've"
page 102, lines 8 and 13 (06 April 2012)
change "Ceauçescu" to "Ceaușescu"
page 120, line 16 (06 April 2012)
change "$5,500 dollars" to "$5,500"
page 120, line -10 (06 April 2012)
change "forté" to "forte"
page 158, line -13 (06 April 2012)
change "in TeX)" to "in TeX),"
page 197, line 5 (10 June 2012)
change "Ko Tokuno" to "Ko Tokuno or Go Deoknab"
page 199, new entry following line 6 (10 June 2012)
American Philosophical Society (Class 1), 2012--.
page 203, in list of journals (06 April 2012)
change "Journal on Statistical" to "Journal of Statistical"
page 217, line -2 (31 October 2013)
change "Autonoma" to "Autónoma"
page 246, lines 1 and 2 of P155 (17 Oct 2012)
change "Hare" to "Hare*" and "Jeffrey" to "Jeffrey*"
page 267, in entry Q236 (28 July 2012)
change "solution to appear." to "solution in 85 (2012), 154--155.
page 267, at the end of entry Q237 (10 June 2012)
append "[CP 21]"
page 360, left column (06 Apr 2012)
change "Institute Blaise" to "Institut Blaise"

I hope the book is otherwise error-free; but (sigh) it probably isn't, because each page presented me with hundreds of opportunities to make mistakes. Please send suggested corrections to, or send snail mail to Prof. D. Knuth, Computer Science Department, Gates Building 4B, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-9045 USA. In either case please include your postal address, so that I can mail an official certificate of deposit as a token of thanks for any improvements to which you have contributed.

I may not be able to read your message until many months have gone by, because I'm working intensively on The Art of Computer Programming. However, I promise to reply in due time.

DO NOT SEND EMAIL TO KNUTH-BUG EXCEPT TO REPORT ERRORS IN BOOKS! And if you do report an error via email, please do not include attachments of any kind; your message should be readable on brand-X operating systems for all values of X.

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