Sunday, March 26, 2023

The SIGACT Book Review column list of books it wants reviewed

I am posting this for Nick Tran who is the current SIGACT Book Review Editor (before him it was Fred Green for about 6 years, and before him it was me (Bill Gasarch) for 18 years. Nobody should have the job for more than 6 years. No TV show should to on more than 6 years. The 6-year rule probably has other applications.)

Nick asked me to post the list of books that need reviewing. It is most of this post. 

If you spot one you want to review then email him (email address later)  the name of the  book you want to review and your postal address so he can send it to you or have it sent to you. Here are his specs:

Reviews of recently published or bucket-list books of interest to the TCS community are welcome. Manuscripts (NOTE FROM BILL `manuscripts'? Really? Sounds like the kind of thing you would FAX or postal mail) should be between 3 and 6 pages and include a brief introduction, a detailed content summary, an assessment of the work, and a recommendation to the book's targeted audience. 

Nick's email is

The books are: 


Knebl, H. (2020).  Algorithms and Data Structures: Foundations and Probabilistic Methods for Design and Analysis. Springer.

Roughgarden, T. (2022). Algorithms Illuminated: Omnibus Edition. Cambridge University Press.


Amaral Turkman, M., Paulino, C., & Müller, P. (2019). Computational Bayesian Statistics: An Introduction (Institute of Mathematical Statistics Textbooks). Cambridge University Press.

Nakajima, S., Watanabe, K., & Sugiyama, M. (2019). Variational Bayesian Learning Theory. Cambridge University Press.

Hidary, J. D. (2021). Quantum Computing: An Applied Approach (2nd ed.). Springer.

Apt, K. R., & Hoare, T. (Eds.). (2022). Edsger Wybe Dijkstra: His Life, Work, and Legacy (ACM Books). Morgan & Claypool.

Burton, E., Goldsmith, J., Mattei, N., Siler, C., & Swiatek, S. (2023). Computing and Technology Ethics: Engaging through Science Fiction. The MIT Press.


O’Regan, G. (2020). Mathematics in Computing: An Accessible Guide to Historical, Foundational and Application Contexts. Springer Publishing.

Rosenberg, A. L., & Trystram, D. (2020). Understand Mathematics, Understand Computing: Discrete Mathematics That All Computing Students Should Know. Springer Publishing.

Liben-Nowell, D. (2022). Connecting Discrete Mathematics and Computer Science (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.


Oorschot, P. . C. (2020). Computer Security and the Internet: Tools and Jewels (Information Security and Cryptography). Springer.


Golumbic, M. C., & Sainte-Laguë, A. (2021). The Zeroth Book of Graph Theory: An Annotated Translation of Les Réseaux (ou Graphes)—André Sainte-Laguë (1926) (Lecture Notes in Mathematics). Springer.

Beineke, L., Golumbic, M., & Wilson, R. (Eds.). (2021). Topics in Algorithmic Graph Theory (Encyclopedia of Mathematics and its Applications).  Cambridge University Press.


Nielson, F., & Nielson, R. H. (2019). Formal Methods: An Appetizer. Springer.

Sanders, P., Mehlhorn, K., Dietzfelbinger, M., & Dementiev, R. (2019). Sequential and Parallel Algorithms and Data Structures: The Basic Toolbox. Springer.


Kurgalin, S., & Borzunov, S. (2022). Algebra and Geometry with Python. Springer.



  1. Should be the postal addresses be in the US? Or anywhere is the world?

    1. Sorry my department pays for US postage only. However, titles NOT on the list can be requested to be sent directly from the publisher to anywhere in the word, I think.

  2. Those three books on discrete math and comp. sci. look like fun. But.
    The first, thankfully the lightest, fails to discuss relay-based computation. That was the foundation of the world's telephone systems until painfully recently (hmm, land lines may still handle rotary dial signals). Sheesh. (My high school had a four-relay toy that allowed you to build shift registers and adders and the like. In 1971. So I'm a relay fan. Sue me.)

    The second, at over a kilogram and 550 pages, has lots of fun stuff. Less on historical artifacts (OK, I complain about not enough such in one review, and give this one kudos for even less. Consistency is the hobgoblin of tiny minds.) and a lot of math. The intro seems rather overenthusiastic, but I'm on the same page as to the importance of this stuff, and it seems to go into gloriously gory detail on some math I'm interested in. (It appears to be the only one of three that talks about infinite sets, a connection to real analysis that amuses here (although I don't know if it makes said connection.) Whatever, I'll probably put my credit card where my mouth is on this one.

    The third, coming in with the most pages and weight, seems the most boringly textbook-like of the bunch.

    All come in noticeably lighter than Eric Gossett's Discrete Mathematics with Proof, a title that I'm not even sure is English, but I bought it without checking the weight. I only have one "bible stand" like bookstand here, and that's in use for a 1600 page Neural Science textbook. (The increasing size and weight of recent textbooks is a favorite rant here.)

    (Translation: Hey, thanks for the list of interesting books!)

    David in Tokyo.

  3. Dear David,

    Please send me an email if you would like to write up your mini reviews above. Nicholas

  4. Those comments were (a) based on the previews available at Amazon, (b) way too snarky, and (c) from way too personal a standpoint. But if you are still interested, I'd be happy to flesh them out . I'm DJL who lives in the ALUM part of the MIT subdomain of the EDU universe...
    David in Tokyo

  5. Not David from Not Tokyo1:06 AM, March 28, 2023

    Hey David, whereabouts in Tokyo do you work? Do I need to enter the universe of all subspaces to get in touch with you?
    It appears that you are an eager, retired, beaver ... have you tried to read

    Nielson, F., & Nielson, R. H. (2019). Formal Methods: An Appetizer. Springer.

    This title an theme should have been a better choice for someone who went to "the Institute" (but wasn't institutionalized :-)).

  6. In Tokyo, I currently hide out under a rock near Yotsuya station. But that universe of subspaces spells out an email address...

    Thanks for the pointer. My current interest is pure math's intersection with comp. sci. (especially number theory), so that's not up my alley this month, but may be later. At 177 pages, it's not insanely overly long, and the Amazon preview makes it look like a good intro to that material.