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Stephen Prata is a professor of physics and astronomy at the College of Marin in Kentfield, California, where, in addition to astronomy and physics, he teaches computer programming and discrete mathematics. He earned his Ph.D. at University of California, Berkeley. He began using computers to model star clusters. Professor Prata is a member of the American Astronomical Society and a former Fulbright Scholar. He has authored over a dozen books, including earlier editions of this book. Other titles published by this author include the C++ Primer Plus and Unix Primer Plus, also best-selling titles in their areas.