How to Design Programs: An Introduction to Programming and Computing

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
How to Design Programs: An Introduction to Computing and Programming [Go to first , previous , next page; contents ; index ] Epilogue ROS: I mean, what exactly do you do? PLAYER: We keep to our usual stuff, more or less, only inside out. We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else. -- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead We have reached the end of this introduction to computing and program design. While there is more to learn about both subjects, this is a good point to stop, to summarize, and to look ahead. Computing From elementary school to high school we learn to compute with one form of data: numbers. Our first use of numbers is to count real things, say, three apples, five friends, twelve bagels. Later we use numbers without any appeal to concrete objects, but we have learned that numbers represent information in the real world. Computing with software is algebra for all kinds of data , not just numbers. Nowadays, computer programs process representations of music, molecules, law cases, electrical diagrams, architectures of houses, and poems. Fortunately, we have learned to represent information with other forms of data than just numbers. Otherwise, computing and programming would become extremely tedious tasks. Above all, we shouldn't forget that computing means manipulating data through proper basic operations. Some operations create new values. Others extract values from values. Yet others modify values. Finally, there are also basic operations for determining to which class a piece of data belongs. Built-in operations and functions are of course just another class of data. Definition is value creation; application is a form of value extraction. 79 When we define a function, we combine basic data operations. There are two fundamental mechanisms file:///C|/Documents%20and%20Settings/Linda%20Grauer. ../How%20to%20Design%20Programs/curriculum-Z-H-54.html (1 of 4) [2/5/2008 5:02:08 PM]
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
How to Design Programs: An Introduction to Computing and Programming for combining functions: function composition and conditional expressions. The former means that the result of one function becomes the argument of another one. The latter represents a choice among several possibilities. When we eventually apply a function, we trigger a computation. In this book we have studied the laws of basic operations and the laws of operation combination. Using
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This test prep was uploaded on 02/06/2008 for the course CS 1102 taught by Professor Fisler during the Fall '07 term at WPI.

Page1 / 4

Epilogue - How to Design Programs An Introduction to...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online