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Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

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Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
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}}Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (SICP), also known as the "wizard book",{{Citation | contribution = Wizard Book | title = The New Hacker's Dictionary | edition = 2nd | year = 1993 | contribution-url =weblink}}. is a computer science textbook. It teaches fundamental principles of computer programming, including recursion, abstraction, modularity, and programming language design and implementation. It is widely considered a classic in hacker culture.{{citation | url =weblink |title= Grok code | contribution = The Top 9{{frac |1|2}} Books in a Hacker's Bookshelf |accessdate = 2010-10-23}}It was written by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professors Harold Abelson and Gerald Jay Sussman with Julie Sussman. The first edition was published in 1985 by the MIT Press, and the second edition was published in 1996. It was formerly used as the textbook for MIT's introductory course in electrical engineering and computer science. SICP focuses on discovering general patterns for solving specific problems, and building robust software systems that make use of those patterns.{{Citation | last = Harvey | first = B | year = 2011 | contribution-url =weblink | contribution = Why SICP matters? | title = The 150th anniversary of MIT | publisher = Boston Globe}}.

Content

The book describes computer science concepts using Scheme, a dialect of Lisp. It also uses a virtual register machine and assembler to implement Lisp interpreters and compilers.

Characters

Several fictional characters appear in the book:
  • Alyssa P. Hacker, a Lisp hacker
  • Ben Bitdiddle, a hardware expert
  • Cy D. Fect, a "reformed C programmer"
  • Eva Lu Ator, an evaluator
  • Lem E. Tweakit, an irate user
  • Louis Reasoner, a loose reasoner

License

The book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 License.{{Citation | title = SICP | publisher = MIT press | url =weblink}}.

Coursework

The book was used as the textbook for MIT's former introductory programming course, 6.001.WEB,weblink OpenCourseWare, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science | 6.001 Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, Spring 2005, MIT, 2011-06-28, That course was replaced by 6.0001,{{Citation|title=Catalog|url=http://student.mit.edu/catalog/search.cgi?search=6.0001|contribution=6.0001|publisher=MIT}}. which uses Python.{{Citation | first = Donald | last = Guy | quote = I talked to Professor Sussman on the phone... He said that he'd actually been trying to have 6.001 replaced for the last ten years (and I read somewhere that Professor Abelson was behind the move too). Understanding the principles is not essential for an introduction to the subject matter anymore. He sees 6.001 as obsolete | url =weblink | title = MIT Admissions | type = blog comment | contribution = The End of an Era | accessdate = 2008-08-05}}. Other schools also made use of the book as a course textbook.WEB, Edward C, Martin,weblink Schools, Schemers, 2009-07-20, 2011-06-28, It is used as the textbook for MIT's Large Scale Symbolic Systems class, 6.945weblink

Reception

Byte recommended SICP "for professional programmers who are really interested in their profession". The magazine stated that the book was not easy to read, but that it would expose experienced programmers to both old and new topics.NEWS, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, Byte, November 1986, Kilov, Haim, 70,

Influence

SICP has been influential in computer science education, and a number of later books have been inspired by its style.

References

{{reflist|30em}}

External links



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