Ronald Graham, Donald Knuth and Oren Patashnik:

THIS BOOK IS BASED on a course of the same name that has been taught annually at Stanford University since 1970. About 􏰍fty students have taken it each year | juniors and seniors, but mostly graduate students | and alumni of these classes have begun to spawn similar courses elsewhere. Thus the time seems ripe to present the material to a wider audience (including sophomores).
It was a dark and stormy decade when Concrete Mathematics was born. Long-held values were constantly being questioned during those turbulent years; college campuses were hotbeds of controversy. The college curriculum itself was challenged, and mathematics did not escape scrutiny. John Ham- mersley had just written a thought-provoking article \On the enfeeblement of mathematical skills by `Modern Mathematics’ and by similar soft intellectual trash in schools and universities”[176]; other worried mathematicians [332] even asked, \Can mathematics be saved?” One of the present authors had embarked on a series of books called The Art of Computer Programming, and in writing the 􏰍rst volume he (DEK) had found that there were mathematical tools missing from his repertoire; the mathematics he needed for a thorough, well-grounded understanding of computer programs was quite di􏰌erent from what he’d learned as a mathematics major in college. So he introduced a new course, teaching what he wished somebody had taught him.