[click here to zip down to the schedule of public lectures]
Please help honor Alan Turing by adding a necessary new verb to the English language.
For many years I've resisted temptations to put out a hasty electronic version of The Art of Computer Programming, because the samples sent to me were not well made.
But now, working together with experts at Mathematical Sciences Publishers, my publishers and I are launching an electronic edition that meets the highest standards. We've put special emphasis into making the search feature work well. Thousands of useful "clickable" cross-references are also provided --- from exercises to their answers and back, from the index to the text, from the text to important tables and figures, etc.
The first fascicle can now be ordered from Pearson's InformIT website, and we expect to release thousands of additional pages next year.
Volume 4B of The Art of Computer Programming will begin with a special section called ‘Mathematical Preliminaries Redux’, which extends the ‘Mathematical Prelimaries’ of Section 1.2 in Volume 1 to things that I didn't know about in the 1960s. Most of this new material deals with probabilities and expectations of random events; there's also an introduction to the theory of martingales.
You can have a sneak preview by looking at the current draft of pre-fascicle 5a (39 pages), last updated 11 November 2013. As usual, rewards will be given to whoever is first to find and report errors or to make valuable suggestions. I'm particularly interested in receiving feedback about the exercises (of which there are 99) and their answers (of which there are 99).
There's stuff in here that isn't in Wikipedia yet!
I worked particularly hard while preparing some of those exercises, attempting to improve on expositions that I found in the literature; and in several noteworthy cases, nobody has yet pointed out any errors. It would be nice to believe that I actually got the details right in my first attempt; but that seems unlikely, because I had hundreds of chances to make mistakes. So I fear that the most probable hypothesis is that nobody has been sufficiently motivated to check these things out as yet.
I still cling to a belief that these details are extremely instructive, and I'm uncomfortable with the prospect of printing a hardcopy edition with so many exercises unvetted. Thus I would like to enter here a plea for some readers to tell me explicitly, ``Dear Don, I have read exercise N and its answer very carefully, and I believe that it is 100% correct,'' where N is one of the following exercises in prefascicle 5a:
Remember that you don't have to work the exercise first; you're allowed and even encouraged to peek at the answer. Please send success reports to the usual address for bug reports (email@example.com), if you have time to provide this extra help. Thanks in advance!
If you can come easily to Stanford's campus, you will enjoy the exhibit Art Meets Technology, which is on display at the main library until 15 January 2014. Among many other things, you can see examples of my very first feeble attempts at font design (June 1977), borrowed from the Stanford Archives for this occasion! Archives from the personal papers of Buckminster Fuller, Benoït Mandelbrot, and others are also featured. (See also a surprising recent announcement, and more.)
Spiffy new printings of the hardcover versions of The TeXbook, TeX: The Program, and The METAFONTbook came out last year, and I'm delighted to announce that the other two volumes are also now available---produced for the first time entirely with modern technology! Hurray! For me this represents the grand culmination of my decades of work on typography. Now is a perfect time for typophiles to replace any old copies that have become dog-eared after years of (ab)use.
The five volumes of this series are called Volumes A, B, C, D, and E, although they also have individual names. Thus, the definitive versions of Volumes A, B, C appeared in 2012, and they now are joined by the new and improved Volumes D and E.
Volume D, METAFONT: The Program, contains the complete text of one of the three most interesting programs that I ever wrote (the other two being TeX and MMIX-PIPE). METAFONT includes numerous subalgorithms of independent interest with respect to rendering curves, manipulating splines, solving linear equations dynamically, processing “object-oriented macros,” etc.
Volume E, Computer Modern Typefaces, is a “coffee-table book,” which defines exactly how every letter and every symbol that appears in any of my books (including this one) are drawn electronically by simulated pens. Each character is illustrated at large scale on the left-hand pages, with labeled control points, and accompanied by METAFONT code to its right.
(Click here for further details.)
Last November I spent most of a day with Edgar Daylight, a young historian of computer science. He had prepared lots of interesting questions about the early days of computer science, and he tape recorded my answers. Now he has packaged the edited transcripts into a book.
Although I must stay home most of the time and work on yet more books that I've promised to complete, I do occasionally get into speaking mode. Here is a current schedule of events that have been planned for this year so far: