lec01 - What is CS 3110 About? Course overview information...

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Course overview information can be found here . Background on ML Our first order of business in this course is to learn how to use ML. Why learn another language? We use a zillion different programming languages to communicate with machines and each other: general purpose programming: Fortran, Lisp, Basic, C, Pascal, C++, Java, etc. scripting: Visual Basic, awk, sed, perl, tcl, sh, csh, bash, REXX, Scheme, etc. search: regular expressions, browser queries, SQL, etc. display and rendering: PostScript/PDF, HTML, XML, VRML, etc. hardware: CCS, VHDL, Esterelle mathematics: Mathematica, Maple, Matlab others? Though there are only a handful of general-purpose languages that you will learn and use, you'll be learning and using special-purpose languages for the rest of your life. Even general-purpose languages come and go. Today, it's Java and C++. Yesterday, it was Pascal and C, before that Fortran and Lisp. Who knows what it will be like tomorrow? You have to learn how to learn new languages. In addition, some projects will require that you build "little" languages for gluing things together. Javascript grew out of a little language to make web pages interactive protocols, like HTTP or TCP are little languages that allow devices to talk to one another the command prompt of DOS handles a little shell language search engines on the web accept queries in a little language others? We gain a lot of leverage by having good notation and good language support for a given domain. perl is extremely useful for searching through documents because of its built-in support for regular expressions SQL is a very high-level language that makes it easy to do database transactions in a scalable way. So it's important to understand programming models and programming paradigms because in this fast changing field, you need to be able to rapidly adapt. It's crucial that you understand the principles behind programming that transcend the specifics of today. There's no better way to get at these principles than to approach programming from a completely different perspective. This is one reason why we're using ML -- it's different from what most of you will have seen.
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2009 for the course PHYS 2214 at Cornell.

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lec01 - What is CS 3110 About? Course overview information...

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