What books should I read to start learning computer science?

In summary: Hello @Rahel , :welcome: !I am a bit surprised you don't mention previous relevant experience. Do you like math, numerical analysis, programming, specific tools you already worked with ?What books, what about dealing with computers did you like in particular?Nowadays CS is quite a broad field and some specialisation is called for.If you already know a programming language, learn another and pay attention to differences and similarities.I don't agree with sysprog that Knuth is a good intro; on the other hand: if you can chew through that, then you surely know you like the field :smile:
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Rahel
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TL;DR Summary
A great desire to learn computer science
Dear friends I am new for this forum. I have a plan to begin studying computer science very soon. My qualification at the this moment is MSC in Accounting and Finance. I want to study computer science! Here there is a university working in collaboration with one of universities in USA providing MSC in computer science for those who have no ground in the field by facilitating bridge courses. I would like to get your kind advise from those of you familiar to the discipline to tell me on what kinds of books should i begin reading to narrow the knowledge gap?
 
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Welcome aboard the Physics Forums, @Rahel ##-##

Professor Marvin Minsky's Computation: Finite and Infinite Machines is a Computer Science classic: http://www.cba.mit.edu/events/03.11.ASE/docs/Minsky.pdf ##-##

the magnum opus of Professor Donald Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming: https://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/taocp.html is incomparable ##-##

Kenneth Rosen's Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications is good, and so is Alan Gibbons' Algorithmic Graph Theory (I found pdf links for them, but I don't post them here, because I'm not sure about the copyright permission).
 
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  • #3
Hello @Rahel , :welcome: !

I am a bit surprised you don't mention previous relevant experience. Do you like math, numerical analysis, programming, specific tools you already worked with ?
What books, what about dealing with computers did you like in particular?

Nowadays CS is quite a broad field and some specialisation is called for.

If you already know a programming language, learn another and pay attention to differences and similarities.

I don't agree with sysprog that Knuth is a good intro; on the other hand: if you can chew through that, then you surely know you like the field :smile:
 
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  • #4
sysprog said:
Welcome aboard the Physics Forums, @Rahel ##-##

Professor Marvin Minsky's Computation: Finite and Infinite Machines is a Computer Science classic: http://www.cba.mit.edu/events/03.11.ASE/docs/Minsky.pdf ##-##

the magnum opus of Professor Donald Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming: https://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/taocp.html is incomparable ##-##

Kenneth Rosen's Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications is good, and so is Alan Gibbons' Algorithmic Graph Theory (I found pdf links for them, but I don't post them here, because I'm not sure about the copyright permission).
Thank you so much sir.
 
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  • #5
BvU said:
Hello @Rahel , :welcome: !

I am a bit surprised you don't mention previous relevant experience. Do you like math, numerical analysis, programming, specific tools you already worked with ?
What books, what about dealing with computers did you like in particular?

Nowadays CS is quite a broad field and some specialisation is called for.

If you already know a programming language, learn another and pay attention to differences and similarities.

I don't agree with sysprog that Knuth is a good intro; on the other hand: if you can chew through that, then you surely know you like the field :smile:
Thank you so much for your inquiry to ask my experience. As i mentioned i have MSC in accounting and finance at this moment. I have had great interest in maths and physics while i was in high school. Advancing in computer technology is getting very popular in a country where i am living also its becoming my big desire to learn the field. That's why i am asking people experienced in the field to guide me my reading to narrow the knowledge gap
 
  • #6
BvU said:
Do you like math (yes), numerical analysis, programming, specific tools you already worked with ?
What books, what about dealing with computers did you like in particular?
What experience do you have that you can build on ? Which language(s) ?
 
  • #7
BvU said:
I don't agree with sysprog that Knuth is a good intro; on the other hand: if you can chew through that, then you surely know you like the field :smile:
Please, @BvU, I didn't and wouldn't say that Professor Knuth's TAOCP is "a good intro". I used the term magnum opus (great work). I think that it's a good thing for anyone interested in CS to take a look at, with the proviso that the material is advanced as well as comprehensive.
 
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Related to What books should I read to start learning computer science?

1. What is the best book to start learning computer science?

The best book to start learning computer science depends on your personal learning style and goals. Some popular options include "Introduction to Computer Science" by David Evans, "Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software" by Charles Petzold, and "The C Programming Language" by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie.

2. Are there any books specifically for beginners in computer science?

Yes, there are many books specifically designed for beginners in computer science. Some options include "Computer Science: An Overview" by J. Glenn Brookshear, "Computer Science: A Very Short Introduction" by Subrata Dasgupta, and "The Elements of Computing Systems" by Noam Nisan and Shimon Schocken.

3. Is it necessary to have prior knowledge of programming before reading books on computer science?

No, it is not necessary to have prior knowledge of programming before reading books on computer science. However, having some basic understanding of programming concepts may help you better understand the material.

4. Can I learn computer science solely from books?

While books are a great resource for learning computer science, it is recommended to also supplement your learning with other resources such as online courses, practice problems, and hands-on experience. This will help you gain a more well-rounded understanding of the subject.

5. Are there any free books available for learning computer science?

Yes, there are many free books available for learning computer science. Some options include "How to Think Like a Computer Scientist" by Allen B. Downey, "Open Data Structures" by Pat Morin, and "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs" by Harold Abelson and Gerald Jay Sussman.

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