IEEE Computer Volume 11 Number 7 -- BOOK REVIEWS
Original Publication Date: 1978-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Software Patent Institute
Dr. Francis P. Mathur: AUTHOR [+3]
THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.
This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1978 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.
Recently published books and new periodicals may be submitted for review to the Book Reviews Editor:
Dr. Francis P. Mathur
Professor and Computer Science Coordinator Mathematics Department California State Polytechnic University 3801 WestTempleAvenue Pomona, CA 91768 Telephone: (714) 5084421
(Note: publications reviewed in this section are not available from the IEEE Computer Society. Please order directly from the publisher.)
B78-19 Elements of Discrete Mathematics -- C. L. Liu (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1977, 294 pp., $16.95)
Why do so many authors of textbooks tell such whoppers in the preface? "It is intended. . . for a course. . . at the sophomore-junior level, although it can be used in a freshman-level course since (it) does not assume any background beyond high school mathematics. The material . . . can be covered in a onesemester course at a rather brisk pace." This prefatory stuffing has the effect of defining "rather brisk" to be (roughly) just short of the speed of light, if one takes into account the experience and maturity levels of the intended audience.
Having thus registered my complaint, let's get down to the brass tacks of positive features -- of which there are many.
As can be inferred from the title, this book covers a wide range of topics in discrete mathematics. Also, the author's concern for computer science is evident from his choices of numerous computer topics and applications. The instructor or student can omit several sections from the nine chapters which constitute the text without disturbing the continuity of the presentation, since some of them deal with problems and applications and others involve extensions of (excursions into?} the theoretical material.
The nine chapters cover sets and propositions, permutations and combinations, relations and functions, graphs and planar graphs, trees and cutlets, discrete numeric functions and generating functions, recurrence relations, groups and rings, and Boolean algebras. At least most of the material in the first three chapters should be familiar to students at the sophomore- junior level. Each chapter defines concepts and then leads the student from theory to application. While this book makes no attempt at comprehensiveness, it does present enough material (particularly in the problem lists) so that the reader can gain some appreciation of the scope of each major topic. The presentation is, however, extremely terse, since the author puts so much in so few pages. Thus, the book is hardly suitable for self-study by any...