Sara Baase


A little note about one of the few female professors of computer science alive today.

Sara Baase is currently Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at San Diego State University. A clever woman by any stretch of the imagination, she's won three Outstanding Faculty awards. These are kind of like the Oscars for Academics within a University. She earned her doctorate in Maths at UC Berkeley and later came back as a Visiting Professor of Computer Science for a couple of years. She likes hiking, birding, and rare book collecting.


She's written two major books that have caught the spotlight, the first is:

Computer Algorithms: Introduction to Design and Analysis - Addison Wellesley 2000




This book is as of writing in it's 3rd edition (with this one being co-authored by one Allen Van Gelder of UC Santa Cruz). An outstanding book in it's own right, I had the honour of being stuck with the second edition for my Algorithms and Analysis course a few years ago. Her writing style, while complex, is still accessible, and I might even go so far as to say elegant. She handles each section of the subject with meticulous care, and attention to detail, while at the same time remaining lively and drawing you in. The subject lends itself heavily to obscure mathematics and long proofs, so these qualities are not wasted, and halfway through the course I realised that the book could have been tripled in length by a lesser author without covering the subject nearly as well.

The second book (which I haven't read) is:

A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computers and the Internet - Prentice Hall, 2002

She's also written earlier editions of both these books, and a book on VAX:

VAX Assembly Language Prentice-Hall, second edition, 1992.

Her textbooks in computer science have been translated into several languages, including Russian, and Korean. The newer book reflects her concerns about the ethical use and social integration of computers into society.

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