Cite Knuth... This is, of course, good science.
Well at least Professor Knuth is still alive, and I don't [YET!] need to refer to the poor man as spinning in his grave.
AC posted an excellent response here.. In the event you're filtering AC's, take the time to read it, as it's completely on point.
I would add is this: if you've never completed a Masters thesis or Doctoral dissertation, just try submitting one to your committee without adequate citations. If you write somewhere "I used well-known algorithm ABC because of XYZ" and you don't have a citation for that algorithm, you'll be sent back for rewrites pretty quickly to add appropriate citations.
By way of example, in my Masters thesis several years ago, I mentioned Unix diff , without a citation. Why would this need a citation? It was mostly mentioned in passing, and every computer scientist under the sun knows what diff is, right?
Committee came back asking for further citations on a few things, including diff (which, for the record, is "Hunt, J. W., and McIlroy, M. D. An algorithm for differential file comparison. CSTR, 41 (1976).")
Using citations isn't an appeal to authority. It's akin to using an existing library call in programming. Just as you wouldn't roll-your-own quick sort algorithm when coding, someone writing a scientific paper doesn't re-invent every algorithm ever derived. You find someone who has already done that, and you cite them. The AOCP is useful in this regard due to the sheerly massive number of algorithms Knuth describes. It's hard to go through a Computer Science program and not use one of these algorithms. Knuth himself likewise cites all of the algorithms in the AOCP, so it's not an appeal to his authority, as he delegates that out to others appropriately. It's simply useful because instead of having to track down papers written in the 1960's on your own, you can cite Knuth who cites those papers for you. This is why the AOCP is useful for a graduate student.
FWIW, I cited Knuth. I needs an algorithm to calculate variance, and another on the Box-Meuller transformation. Art of Computer Programming had one for each, which I adapted for my needs, and cited appropriately.