CS655: Programming Languages, Spring 2001
Manifest: Tuesday 6 February 2001
Assignments Thursday, 22 February Problem Set 2
Read before Thursday's class:
- Prakash Panangaden's Notes on the Lambda-Calculus, August 2000.
From what I've read, I get the impression this book was written in a rush, and with the purpose of cramming tons of nonsense and filler in just to have an excuse to present Scheme (a pathetic language). The authors claim to present a view of programming that's widely applicable, and state that top-down (i.e. procedural) programming is by far not the best way to think about programs abstractly. Well, they don't stick to their promise. They present a biased, one sided promotion of scheme as the best language out there. No attempt is made to make comparisons between functional languages like scheme and normal languages like C. The end result, you come out knowing scheme and a few boring applications of it, but can't apply any of it to real programming tasks. This proves this book is just a fancy concotion of some egghead professor who has no idea what happens in the real world. I found many explanations to be incoherent and contradictory. The whole approach is divorced from the computing practice. This is no 21 day book, in fact, you can spend 21 months on it and still not learn a thing, because there's nothing but worthless garbage here.
Amazon.com review of SICP (see other reviews)
University of Virginia
Department of Computer Science
CS 655: Programming Languages