Computer science primers?

My PhD is quickly taking me away from molecular genetics and into computational genetics. This field is emerging (quickly) with the help of some heavy-duty computer science. Most of this computer science is the math behind search algorithms, tree design, comparison, etc. etc. I have been shocked to pull papers recently and see words like “Lemma” and “Proof” in it with weird mathematical symbols that make little sense to me.

I need to get a priming in computer science – the actual theoretical science behind it, not just programming in LISP and data structures and so forth. The actual O log N processing times and search techniques and so forth. So not the easy stuff.

My background:
I haven’t taken math since I was a freshman in college (10 years ohmigod that’s the first time I’ve actually done the math cripes I need to get out of school), but it was linear algebra and diff equations back then. I suppose I could dig up those textbooks and relearn the stuff, which I probably need to do. I also used to be quite the programmer – my first publication comes from a heart function analysis program I wrote for a paper. 19,000 lines of Pascal later, I had a publication. (Yeah I know it could have been done in 2000 lines of C, I programmed C at the time but I was rewriting preexisting source). But I haven’t programmed seriously in 7 years, and I have forgotten nearly all the C I once knew and definitely forgotten all of the C++ and Java that I ever taught myself.

I am in need of good textbooks – the science and math of computer science, especially search stuff. So all of you hardcore computer types let me know. I’ll reciprocate with a good protocol for overgo probing of a high density BAC array.

If I understand you correctly, I think Donald Knuth’s The Art of Computer Programming might be what you’re looking for.

If you find the Knuth a bit too deep for you the first time, you might want to cut your teeth on Algorithms by Sedgewick. Its like mini-Knuth :).

Com’on, that’s the easy stuff to me. :smiley:

You need discrete maths the most. Pretty much all the searches and stuff are based on that.

I like Robert Sedgewick’s books. I’ve read Algorithms and Algorithms in C, which I would also characterize as “Knuth Lite,” but perhaps more relevant he’s also written a book called An Introduction to the Analysis of Algorithms which I would recommend sight unseen based on the quality and accessibility of his writing.

You need Cormen et al., Introduction to Algorithms. It’s really big, but there’s no fluff, and there’s a lot of stuff that you can just take right out of there and use. It’s a really useful reference.

There are also CS books geared towards bioinformatics. This one looks pretty good.

Between those two, you should have a decent start. You’ll probably also want an introductory discrete math book–they’re a dime a dozen, so head on over to Dover and find a cheap one.