Aho and Ullman have created a C version of their groundbreaking text. As in that text, this book combines the theoretical foundations of computing with essential discrete mathematics. It follows the same organizations as its predecessor, with all examples and exercises in C.
This book was motivated by the desire we and others have had to further the evolution of the core course in computer science. Many departments across the country have revised their curriculum in response to the introductory course in the science of computing discussed in the “Denning Report,” (Denning, P. J., D. E. Comer, D. Gries, M. C. Mulder, A. Tucker, J. Turner, and P. R. Young, “Computing as a Discipline,” Comm. ACM 32:1, pp. 9–23, January 1989.). That report draws attention to three working methodologies or processes — theory, abstraction, and design — as fundamental to all undergraduate programs in the discipline. More recently, the Computing Curricula 1991 report of the joint ACM/IEEE-CS Curriculum Task Force echoes the Denning Report in identifying key recurring concepts which are fundamental to computing, especially: conceptual and formal models, efficiency, and levels of abstraction. The themes of these two reports summarize what we have tried to offer the student in this book.
This book developed from notes for a two-quarter course at Stanford — called CS109: Introduction to Computer Science — that serves a number of goals. The first goal is to give beginning computer science majors a solid foundation for further study. However, computing is becoming increasingly important in a much wider range of scientific and engineering disciplines. Therefore, a second goal is to give those students who will not take advanced courses in computer science the conceptual tools that the field provides. Finally, a more pervasive goal is to expose all students not only to programming concepts but also to the intellectually rich foundations of the field.