CLRS Celebrates 500,000 Copies

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CLRS Celebrates 500,000 Copies
Photo: Jason Dorfman, CSAIL photographer
Professors Thomas Cormen, Charles Leiserson, Ronald Rivest and Clifford Stein get ready to cut the cake.

CSAIL members gathered on Thursday, August 4 to celebrate the sale of 500,000 copies of the textbook Introduction to Algorithms written by Professor Thomas Cormen, CSAIL Professor Charles Leiserson, CSAIL Professor Ronald Rivest and Professor Clifford Stein. The book is currently in its third edition, and has sold a half million copies since its initial publication, including 15 translations by foreign publishers.

The party featured remarks from CSAIL Professor Srini Devadas, who served as Master of Ceremonies for the event. Devadas offered a toast to the authors, proclaiming, “let’s have this (party) again in four years for the millionth copy sold of the book.”

EECS Associate Department Head and CSAIL Principal Investigator Bill Freeman thanked the authors for their work in carrying out MIT’s educational mission. “As professors at MIT, our mission is to lead in research and teaching and to have an impact,” said Freeman. “It’s hard to imagine a bigger impact” than 500,000 copies sold.

Ellen Faran, director of MIT Press, expressed delight at the success of the book, explaining that Introduction to Algorithms was among the top best sellers in terms of lifetime editions in the MIT Press catalog. MIT Press and McGraw Hill originally published the book in 1990, with a second edition following in 2001 and the third edition in 2009. The book is widely referred to as CLRS, the initials of all four authors.

The celebration concluded with a round of thanks from the book’s authors, a celebratory cake fashioned after the textbook and a book signing.

Abby Abazorius, CSAIL