Professor Thomas Cormen Authors Best-Selling Textbook



Computer scientist Thomas Cormen is first author of a highly successful textbook on algorithms. (photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)

Thomas Cormen, professor and chair of computer science, is first author of MIT Press’s top selling book, Introduction to Algorithms. The textbook has sold more than a half-million copies, including three editions and foreign translations. It is typically used for graduate students and upper-level undergraduate courses.

An algorithm is a set of instructions used to guide a computer through a specific computational procedure.

“Algorithms are at the core of all things digital,” Cormen explains. “They run on your laptop, on servers, on your smartphone, and on embedded systems in your car, your microwave oven, or climate-control systems—everywhere.”

Cormen headed to MIT on August 4 for a celebration recognizing the success of the book. He was joined by his coauthors, Charles Leiserson and Ronald L. Rivest, both of MIT, and Clifford Stein of Columbia University.

Cormen is now working on another book on algorithms, to be published as part of MIT Press’s new Essential Knowledge series.

Joseph Blumberg