How to Design Programs

How to Design Programs: An Introduction to Computing and Programming Authors: Matthias Felleisen, Robert Bruce Findler, Matthew Flatt, Shriram Krishnamurthi (2003 version)

Update: see How to Design Programs, Second Edition.

Website includes the complete text.

The Amazon product description reads:

This introduction to programming places computer science in the core of a liberal arts education. Unlike other introductory books, it focuses on the program design process. This approach fosters a variety of skills–critical reading, analytical thinking, creative synthesis, and attention to detail–that are important for everyone, not just future computer programmers. The book exposes readers to two fundamentally new ideas. First, it presents program design guidelines that show the reader how to analyze a problem statement; how to formulate concise goals; how to make up examples; how to develop an outline of the solution, based on the analysis; how to finish the program; and how to test. Each step produces a well-defined intermediate product. Second, the book comes with a novel programming environment, the first one explicitly designed for beginners. The environment grows with the readers as they master the material in the book until it supports a full-fledged language for the whole spectrum of programming tasks. All the book’s support materials are available for free on the Web. The Web site includes the environment, teacher guides, exercises for all levels, solutions, and additional projects.

If we are going to get around to solving the hard subject identity problems in addition to those that are computationally convenient, there will need to be more collaboration across the liberal arts.

The Amazon page, How to Design Programs is in error. I checked the ISBN numbers at: http://www.book The ISBN-13 works but the French, German and UK details point back to the 2001 printing. Bottom line: There is no 2008 edition of this work.

If you are interested, Matthias Felleisen, along with Robert Bruce Findler and Matthew Flatt, has authored Semantics Engineering with PLT Redex in 2009. Sounds interesting but the only review I saw was on Amazon.

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