Recent News

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Fascicles for The Art of Computer Programming

Hurray, hurray: After many years of preparation, at last I can report the publication of new material for my books on The Art of Computer Programming, first released in paperback on Valentine's Day of last year. ``Volume 1 Fascicle 1,'' a programmer's introduction to the MMIX computer, is an update to Sections 1.3 and 1.4 of Volume 1, Fundamental Algorithms, planned for inclusion in the eventual fourth edition of that volume. ``Volume 4 Fascicle 2'' contains sections and of Volume 4, Combinatorial Algorithms, a work in progress. ``Volume 4 Fascicle 3,'' published last August, contains sections of Volume 4. And early in February I received my copy of ``Volume 4 Fascicle 4,'' containing sections If all goes well, Volume 4 Fascicle 0 will be ready in early 2007.

More sneak previews of Volume 4

Early drafts of some of the forthcoming fascicles are also ready for beta-testing. I've put them online primarily so that experts in the field can help me check the results; but brave souls who aren't afraid to look at relatively raw copy are welcome to look too. (Yes, the usual rewards apply if you find any mistakes.)

(If you have trouble downloading these files, your browser is probably screwing up; please see my FAQ page for a workaround.)

Note to Internet friends: I'm extremely grateful that hundreds of you have taken time to read these drafts, and to detect and report errors that you've found. Your comments have improved the material enormously. But I must confess that I'm also disappointed to have had absolutely no feedback so far on several of the exercises on which I worked hardest when I was preparing this material. Could it be that (1) you've said nothing about them because I somehow managed to get the details perfect? Or is it that (2) you shy away from the more difficult stuff, being unable to spend more than a few minutes on any particular topic? Although I do not like to think that readers are lazy, I fear that hypothesis (1) is far less likely than hypothesis (2). I may have to remove material that nobody cares about. But I still cling to a belief that this stuff is extremely instructive. 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:

Note 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 (, if you have time to provide this extra help. Thanks in advance!

A Recent Bio/Profile from Stanford Magazine

Love at First Byte by Kara Platoni

Farewell, Old Friend

My father-in-law, Dr. James W. Carter, passed away peacefully in November at the age of 93. Here is a brief memorial booklet about his life and work.

Diamond Signs

During our summer vacation in 2003, my wife and I amused ourselves by taking leisurely drives in Ohio and photographing every diamond-shaped highway sign that we saw along the roadsides. (Well, not every sign; only the distinct ones.) For provenance, I also stood at the base of each sign and measured its GPS coordinates.

This turned out to be even more fun than a scavenger hunt, so we filled in some gaps when we returned to California. And we intend to keep adding to this collection as we drive further, although we realize that we may have to venture to New England in order to see `FROST HEAVES'.

Here are the images of our collection so far.

Did you borrow a video from me?

Videotapes of most of my Computer Musings have been made since 1998, and I have often loaned copies to people who were unable to attend in person.

Now there is good news and bad news. The good news is that more than a dozen of these videos have been digitized, and they are available for viewing. The bad news is that three people have not returned the tapes they borrowed, and there is no backup copy; I learned recently that my copy was unique, because all the master tapes were erased. If you are the person who currently has any of the following tapes:

please PLEASE return it/them immediately.

Public lectures

Although I must stay home most of the time and work on 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:

Tuesday 10 January, 6pm, at Café Scientifique Palo Alto
``All Questions Answered''
Tuesday 21 March, 8:45am
Participating in a panel discussion to reminisce about the past forty years, as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of Stanford's Computer Science department
Monday 12 June, 5pm, in the large auditorium
Public lecture ``The Joy of Technical Illustration'' at the American University of Armenia, Yerevan
Tuesday 13 June, 5pm, in the large auditorium
Public lecture ``Literate Programming'' at the American University of Armenia, Yerevan
Friday 30 June, 10:00am in room CS 1.04
informal lecture ``Boolean footprints'' at the The University of Warwick's Department of Computer Science
Monday 3 July, 4:00pm at the Oxford University Comlab Lecture Theatre
``Boolean footprints''
Tuesday 24 October, 5:30pm, in Skilling Auditorium
A Computer Musing lecture entitled ``Platologic computing'' [subsequently renamed ``Broadword computing'']
Wednesday 6 December, 4:30pm, in Skilling Auditorium
A Computer Musing lecture entitled ``Trees, Rivers, and RNA,'' the twelfth annual Christmas tree lecture

Click here for the ``recent news'' that was current at the end of 2005, if you're interested in old news as well as new news.

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