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Donald E. Knuth


by Serhiy Grabarchuk

Donald E. Knuth

Donald E. Knuth
Donald Ervin Knuth is a computer scientist, mathematician, and professor emeritus at Stanford University (www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth). His work has revolutionized the entire computer world, and his famous multi-volume work The Art of Computer Programming is the programmersí Bible. Knuth created the modern infrastructure of typefaces along with the TeX system for computer typesetting and the METAFONT system for creating and rendering fonts. Algorithms and their analysis are his absolute domain, but Knuth is equally strong in many other areas, like literature and music, and puzzles are one of them.

Knuth's deep interest in puzzles of different kinds is interwoven naturally and with elegance into his computer scientific and mathematical work. The volumes of The Art of Computer Programming describe and discuss hundreds of puzzles (many of which are quite hard) in connection with writing programs to solve them efficiently by computer. In 2001 Knuth prepared several very detailed indexes to works of the world's most famous puzzle masters, Sam Loyd, Henry E. Dudeney, and Professor Louis Hoffmann (Angelo John Lewis). It is a precious resource for serious puzzlers, where they can find the origin of many famous puzzles.

One of Knuth's books, Selected Papers on Fun and Games (2010), is fully devoted to puzzles and similar topics. It is a must-have-and-read for all puzzle lovers. In its 49 chapters, this 760-page volume comprises hundreds of Knuth's original puzzle creations in different themes: articles in MAD Magazine, numbers, music, geometry, road signs, word play, knight's tours, car plates, games, and art, to name a few. The book is richly illustrated and shows amusing results not published elsewhere.

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Last Updated: May 6, 2016
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