Understanding Computation by Tom Stuart
From Simple Machines to Impossible Programs

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Synopsis

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 languagesDiscover how programs use dynamic semantics to communicate ideas to machinesExplore what a computer can do when reduced to its bare essentialsLearn how universal Turing machines led to today’s general-purpose computersPerform complex calculations, using simple languages and cellular automataDetermine which programming language features are essential for computationExamine how halting and self-referencing make some computing problems unsolvableAnalyze programs by using abstract interpretation and type systems
 

About Tom Stuart

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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.
 
Published May 15, 2013 by O'Reilly Media. 332 pages
Genres: Computers & Technology, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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