Understanding Computation: From Simple Machines to Impossible Programs
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Understanding Computation: From Simple Machines to Impossible Programs

by Tom Stuart
     
 

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Finally, you can learn computation theory and programming language design in an engaging, practical way. Understanding Computation explains theoretical computer science in a context you’ll recognize, helping you appreciate why these ideas matter and how they can inform your day-to-day programming.

Rather than use mathematical notation or an unfamiliar

Overview

Finally, you can learn computation theory and programming language design in an engaging, practical way. Understanding Computation explains theoretical computer science in a context you’ll recognize, helping you appreciate why these ideas matter and how they can inform your day-to-day programming.

Rather than use mathematical notation or an unfamiliar academic programming language like Haskell or Lisp, this book uses Ruby in a reductionist manner to present formal semantics, automata theory, and functional programming with the lambda calculus. It’s ideal for programmers versed in modern languages, with little or no formal training in computer science.

  • Understand fundamental computing concepts, such as Turing completeness in languages
  • Discover how programs use dynamic semantics to communicate ideas to machines
  • Explore what a computer can do when reduced to its bare essentials
  • Learn how universal Turing machines led to today’s general-purpose computers
  • Perform complex calculations, using simple languages and cellular automata
  • Determine which programming language features are essential for computation
  • Examine how halting and self-referencing make some computing problems unsolvable
  • Analyze programs by using abstract interpretation and type systems

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781449329273
Publisher:
O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date:
06/07/2013
Pages:
317
Sales rank:
718,278
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Tom is a computer scientist and programmer, and the founder of Codon, a digital product consultancy in London. He works as a consultant, mentor and trainer, helping companies to improve the quality and clarity of their approach to creating software products, usually on the web. He has lectured on optimizing compilers at the University of Cambridge, co-organizes the Ruby Manor conference, and is a member of the London Ruby User Group.

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