I'm reading Introduction to Algorithms and would like to know if learning the proofs is worthwhile.
closed as primarily opinion-based by D.W.♦, David Richerby, Wandering Logic, Raphael♦ Feb 23 '15 at 7:10
Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.
That's up to you. Reading correctness proofs for algorithms is useful since:
- The proofs explain why the algorithms work. If you need to modify these algorithms, you'd better know how they work. Such an understanding is very useful even just for coding algorithms, and certainly for debugging them.
- The proofs are good examples of mathematical proofs. The mathematical notion of proof is one of the most important contributions of mathematics to the world, and is a way of knowing which you could find useful in life, even without using it yourself.
- If you continue in academia, say get a graduate degree, you might have to write such proofs in the future.
However, it is my understanding that most programmers don't come up with new algorithms, or even code classical ones. If this is your case, you can probably skip the proofs, indeed the entire course, if it were not made compulsory by your university (if any).