Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)

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9780262010771: Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)

Designed for the introductory computer science subject at MIT, this book presents a unique conceptual introduction to programming that should make it required reading for every computer scientist. The authors' main concern is to give their readers command of the major techniques used to control the complexity of large software systems: building abstractions, establishing conventional interfaces, and establishing new descriptive languages.

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs covers a wide range of material, from simple numerical programs, through symbol manipulation, logic programming, interpretation, and compilation. Main sections of the book are: Building Abstractions with Procedures; Building Abstractions with Data; Modularity, Objects, and State, Meta-Linguistic Abstraction; and Computing with Register Machines. Each chapter includes numerous exercises and programming projects. As a programming language, the book uses Scheme, a modern dialect of LISP, which incorporates block structure and lexical scoping.

This book inaugurates the MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science series, copublished with McGraw Hill.

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About the Author:

Hal Abelson is Class of 1922 Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a fellow of the IEEE. He is a founding director of Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, and the Free Software Foundation. Additionally, he serves as co-chair for the MIT Council on Educational Technology.

Review:

"A truly modern introductory text which allows students to discuss the major interesting questions of today. It is a tribute to Professors Abelson and Sussman that they were willing to spend their valued research time to produce such a magnificent text. Controlling complexity, the major theme of the book, is a major concern of programming language designers and software engineers. Imperative, applicative, object-oriented, and logic-based are four trends of programming languages. Scheme allows examples of each.... This book is a rare achievement."
Daniel P. Friedman, Indiana University

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