The Ammunition: Which Books?

Published: 15 Sep 2014 | Last updated 15 June 2017

This page mentions the literature that Surendra and I used to get AIR-5 and AIR-1 respectively. Here we address the persisting problem in most people’s minds; which books should I follow? We don’t recommend ANY material or pre-made notes to be used. We provide the list of books to be used and the list of papers to be practiced.

Discrete Math: Kenneth Rosen

Graph Theory: Diestel (first chapter)

Linear Algebra: Gilbert Strand (also watch video lectures!)

Numerical Methods and Calculus: Google the formulas up, list them down and stick them up on your wall and look at them daily.

Operating systems: Silberschatz and Galvin (I followed the Windows XP edition).

Digital Logic: Morris Mano (and a lot of thought).

Computer Organization: JP Hayes for IEEE 754, Morris Mano for the insights and Stallings and Hamachar-Zaky for everything else. Should be a bit careful with the pipelining questions as they can get tricky and longish.

Data Structures: I followed Goodrich-Tamassia and Sahni, though not totally. Basically any book will do, given some insights and a bit of coding experience.

Algorithms: Cormen by a long shot!

Theory of Computation: Ullman is a decent book. And so is Cohen. Wikipedia is an excellent resource for getting intuitions right. Also, Dexter Kozen has a wonderful compilation of his lecture notes on it. Also, to think of it, please refer to our IISc Automata Theory and Computability course slides:

Compiler Design: Dragon Book!

Databases: Korth and Sudarshan is a decent book. I referred wikipedia a lot for this, though (as I had little passion for DB).

Computer Networks: Tanenbaum (I didn’t like this). The book by Kurose and Ross (Computer Networks – A Top-Down Approach) is awesome! Solve problems from Peterson and Davie.

For practice use the GK publications or some other thing. And never make the mistake of grading yourself based on their key. Solve all the previous GATE papers to give you confidence and strategies. Disclaimer: We haven’t read these books from end to end. We just referred to them as need came. The primary pointer to what you should be reading should be the sort of mistakes you make at the moment. Even Wikipedia helps a lot in cases.

  • Hari Krishna Malladi
  • @harikrishna
  • Senior editor at techtud

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