I'm having some difficulty trying to follow what the authors of some of the more highly recommended books on algorithms. I ran into the same problem when trying out some online courses. My goal is to prepare myself to start learning fundamental algorithms for use in low-level languages by means of understanding them mathematically. So far, a guide on wiki is a good resource to decipher the symbols, but I'm not sure that will suffice.

Is there anything besides this page that a person would need before learning algorithms besides basic algebra concepts?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I suggest a course in discrete mathematics. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 22:06
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, @YuvalFilmus -- I actually took one ages ago. Couldn't remember much though. Time to dust off some memories... $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 19:26
  • $\begingroup$ I recommend Book of Proof (pre-load) into Concrete Mathematics (as required). $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


To learn algorithms mathematically you will need to have a basic understanding of

  • Proofs(basically using induction)
  • summations and
  • asymptotic notations(like Big-O , Big-Omega)

To learn the above subjects I recommend this course from https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-042j-mathematics-for-computer-science-spring-2015/


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