Understanding Computation: From Simple Machines to Impossible Programs [NOOK Book]

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, ...

See more details below
Understanding Computation: From Simple Machines to Impossible Programs

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$18.99
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$33.99 List Price

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
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781449330101
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/15/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 332
  • Sales rank: 1,094,669
  • File size: 4 MB

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.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface;
Who Should Read This Book?;
Conventions Used in This Book;
Using Code Examples;
Safari® Books Online;
How to Contact Us;
Acknowledgments;
Chapter 1: Just Enough Ruby;
1.1 Interactive Ruby Shell;
1.2 Values;
1.3 Control Flow;
1.4 Objects and Methods;
1.5 Classes and Modules;
1.6 Miscellaneous Features;
Programs and Machines;
Chapter 2: The Meaning of Programs;
2.1 The Meaning of “Meaning”;
2.2 Syntax;
2.3 Operational Semantics;
2.4 Denotational Semantics;
2.5 Formal Semantics in Practice;
2.6 Implementing Parsers;
Chapter 3: The Simplest Computers;
3.1 Deterministic Finite Automata;
3.2 Nondeterministic Finite Automata;
3.3 Regular Expressions;
3.4 Equivalence;
Chapter 4: Just Add Power;
4.1 Deterministic Pushdown Automata;
4.2 Nondeterministic Pushdown Automata;
4.3 Parsing with Pushdown Automata;
4.4 How Much Power?;
Chapter 5: The Ultimate Machine;
5.1 Deterministic Turing Machines;
5.2 Nondeterministic Turing Machines;
5.3 Maximum Power;
5.4 General-Purpose Machines;
Computation and Computability;
Chapter 6: Programming with Nothing;
6.1 Impersonating the Lambda Calculus;
6.2 Implementing the Lambda Calculus;
Chapter 7: Universality Is Everywhere;
7.1 Lambda Calculus;
7.2 Partial Recursive Functions;
7.3 SKI Combinator Calculus;
7.4 Iota;
7.5 Tag Systems;
7.6 Cyclic Tag Systems;
7.7 Conway’s Game of Life;
7.8 Rule 110;
7.9 Wolfram’s 2,3 Turing Machine;
Chapter 8: Impossible Programs;
8.1 The Facts of Life;
8.2 Decidability;
8.3 The Halting Problem;
8.4 Other Undecidable Problems;
8.5 Depressing Implications;
8.6 Why Does This Happen?;
8.7 Coping with Uncomputability;
Chapter 9: Programming in Toyland;
9.1 Abstract Interpretation;
9.2 Static Semantics;
9.3 Applications;
Afterword;
Colophon;

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)