Computer Science

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Computer Science Illuminated, Fourth Edition

Revised and updated with the latest information in the field, the Fourth Edition of Computer Science Illuminated continues to engage and enlighten students on the fundamental concepts and diverse capabilities of computing. Written by two of today s most respected computer science educators, Nell Dale and John Lewis, the text provides a broad overview of the many aspects of the discipline from a generic view point. Separate program language chapters are available as bundle items for those instructors who would like to explore a particular programming language with their students. The many layers of computing are thoroughly explained beginning with the information layer, working through the hardware, programming, operating systems, application, and communication layers, and ending with a discussion on the limitations of computing. Perfect for introductory computing and computer science courses, the fourth edition’s thorough presentation of computing systems provides computer science majors with a solid foundation for further study, and offers non-majors a comprehensive and complete introduction to computing.

Rating: (out of 26 reviews)

List Price: $ 104.95
Price: $ 45.24

Computer Science Illuminated, Fourth Edition Reviews

Review by Lisa Michaud:

I am currently using this text for the fifth time in my survey course for non-majors. It does exactly what I want it to do: it gives the students a feel for each of the topics with just enough depth to be rigorous for non-majors without being overwhelming. It’s not perfect for my tastes; I do less than a full chapter, for example, when talking about languages (only covering the introductions to Chapters 7 and 8), whereas I do a full week on an expanded coverage of databases (Chapter 12). But I have a hard time imagining a text with a better fit, and I have used this since its first edition.

Review by E:

It’s been a semester since I had to buy this expensive shrink-wrapped textbook for my Intro to Computer Science class. In a text like this, topics are glossed over in an attempt to cover a wide range of ideas related to general CS. Even after a semester of CS and having gotten my feet wet in related areas (3D graphics programming, networking, and network security), I still say this text falls short of providing any real material to the budding computer scientist/engineer.

The author Nell Dale’s writing inadequately explains certain concepts, something which could make these first time topics even more distant, or even further confuse those – particularly those with no prior programming or computer experience, especially those taking Intro to CS as an elective. For example, our professor taught us a more adequate technique in binary arithmetic. Dale’s explanations of binary arithmetic are slightly confusing, especially to the uninitiated.

While the focus of the first semester was on beginning OOP with C++, we ended the semester with basic programming concepts (e.g. functions, data types, pointers, etc.) and the fundamentals of the OO paradigm (using C++). The chapter on programming paradigms, in my opinion, is utterly TERRIBLE. Although I took time outside of class to read better books on the subject, had I solely based my budding knowledge of OOP on this textbook, I would’ve been in trouble down the road — I didn’t understand a thing of OOP based upon this book’s explanations. 3-4 pages are solely dedicated to the seemingly Stone Age concept of using “class cards”.

Although this textbook was a complete waste of money, my personal experience with this book was even worse because I had a professor who taught Intro to CS as if we were Software Engineering seniors. If you have to buy this book for class but what a better understanding of CS in general (before you get into the details), either buy or check your local or school’s library for Computer Science: An Overview by J. Glenn Brookshear (ISBN: 0201781301). If you’re buying this, the latest edition is the 8th but the last edition, the 7th, you can get used for about -.

If you’re like me and your class is covering more basic OOP programming techniques using a OOP “optimized” language than learning a generalized overview of many CS topics (e.g. operating systems, artificial intelligence, etc.), another really good book to check out and/or buy is Introduction to Computer Science Using C++, 2nd Edition by Todd Knowlton (ISBN: 0538676000). The last I checked, you can get this hardcover used from the Amazon Marketplace for about .50- used. This book covers nothing but basic programming concepts such as variables, loops, operators, strings, I/O, functions, on and on and on.

Again, if you have to get this book, I would highly recommended supplementing your learning by reading one of the aforementioned books (not necessarily the whole book however) along with CS Illuminated. Some people may think this book is okay, but I would still say that to really get a firm grasp of what basic programming is all about, you’ll need a better text to give you that foundation. Perhaps the reason why this textbook fails overall is that it gives too much attention to too many different topics. Had if focused on basic programming (which it seems most Intro to CS teachers emphasize anyway) like Introduction to Computer Science Using C++, it may have been better. Anyway, good luck to all!

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Computer Science: An Overview (10th Edition)

Students and instructors alike continue to praise the broad coverage and clear exposition that Computer Science: An Overview uses to present a complete picture of the dynamic computer science field. Accessible to students from all backgrounds, Glenn Brookshear uses a language-independent context to encourage the development of a practical, realistic understanding of the field. Introduction; Data Storage; Operating Systems; Networking and the Internet; Algorithms; Programming Languages; Software Engineering; Data Abstractions; Database Systems; Computer Graphics; Artificial Intelligence; Theory of Computation. For all readers interested in the basics of computer science.

Rating: (out of 33 reviews)

List Price: $ 109.00
Price: $ 75.00

Computer Science: An Overview (10th Edition) Reviews

Review by C. L. Messina:

First, some quick advice to those who found the book too basic or general: read the title if you can’t make it to page one of the preface! This book is an overview of computer science. You can’t expect it to be “Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs” + “Introduction to Algorithms, 2nd ed” + “Principles of Compiler Design” + “C Primer Plus”, etc. . . If you’re looking for that kind of topic depth refer to books that specialize in certain topics. If the book is too basic for you then you simply shouldn’t be reading it. I don’t think that’s any reason to slam it though.

As for the intended audience (i.e. true computer newbies) this is your starting point. I haven’t read the 8th edition and am not sure how the 7th might be improved upon other than perhaps a little more depth in the database section. This book will not teach you how to program in C, how to build a compiler or how to perform a SQL query. It will tell you what you need to know to move onto these and other computer science areas sensibly as well as point you toward the best sources of topical info (i.e. the golden books of computer science) for further study should you wish to make a career of it. This study approach is truly advantageous because you avoid basic computer science knowledge gaps and start with a better framework for topical studies and specilization. If you take the other route (e.g. grab a “learn to program in 10 minutes” book and just ‘go at it’) you stand to miss details that will come back to haunt you later in your career as you make mistakes yet are uncertain where your knowledge gaps lie.

MIT Comp Sci students typically skip this course and begin with the more technical “Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs”- truly a great place to start. For those of you who haven’t been immersed in computers for the last half of your lives, this book is your stepping stone, a great foundation and a very enjoyable read. My advice is to start with this book then use its references to explore the computer science topics (i.e. languages, architecture, A.I., etc.) that interest you. You’ll start on much more solid ground than those who just ‘jump on in’ and keep going until they (and their programs) crash.

Review by A. Scudiero:

This book provides the fundamentals of the Science behind computing and the machines called computers in a down to earth, straightforward, easy to understand manner. An absolute MUST READ for anyone who works with computers and computer science, and simple enough to understand that anyone interested in computers can read it. If you are interested in learning the details of how comptuers work but don’t know much about them yet, this is a WONDERFUL place to start as it assumes no prior knowledge and FINALLY MEANS IT FOR ONCE! You can pick up this book having never seen a computer and understand it. It’s about time!

Buy Computer Science: An Overview (10th Edition) now for only $ 75.00!

Schaum’s Outline of Principles of Computer Science (Schaum’s Outline Series)

Learn the essentials of computer science Schaum’s Outline of Principles of Computer Science provides a concise overview of the theoretical foundation of computer science. It also includes focused review of object-oriented programming using Java.

  • ISBN13: 9780071460514
  • Condition: New
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Rating: (out of 2 reviews)

List Price: $ 18.95
Price: $ 9.49

Schaum’s Outline of Principles of Computer Science (Schaum’s Outline Series) Reviews

Review by Mfragin:

This is a competent book on Computer Science, but just about any introductory CS textbook will cover these topics and many more. If you are familiar with other Schaum’s outlines, you’ll probably know what to expect. The price is no doubt much lower than most CS textbooks, so this book certainly is justified in certain cases. Nothing terrible in here, but also nothing terribly exciting or original. Worth buying and reading if you are interested in CS as a subject of study and are not required to buy some other CS text for an Intro course.

Buy Schaum’s Outline of Principles of Computer Science (Schaum’s Outline Series) now for only $ 9.49!

Schaum’s Outline of Introduction to Computer Science

Illustrates key computing concepts using examples in the most popular programming languages. This is an essential guide for the hundreds of thousands of students studying Introduction to Computer Science or Introduction to Programming, presenting the basic concepts of computer science and illlustrating them with examples in C/C++, and Java. More than 285,000 college majors and 11,000 high school Advanced Placement candidates are enrolled in required Computing Science courses. Explains algorithm development and data abstraction. Supplements leading computer science textbooks.

Rating: (out of 2 reviews)

List Price: $ 16.95
Price: $ 37.99

Schaum’s Outline of Introduction to Computer Science Reviews

Review by Dean McKenzie:

This book is unique in that it is both low-priced and provides an overview of four popular languages – C, C++, Java and VisualBasic (I couldn’t find anything on Pascal and Fortran, unlike what the Publisher’s review implies). It is sometimes heavy going and or lacks detail in places, and will need to be supplemented by other books and courses. Still, it’s good value for the price.

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Be Prepared for the AP Computer Science Exam in Java

This is the fourth edition of the best-selling AP Computer Science exam prep book. Thorough review chapters cover all of the AP CS material and the GridWorld case study. Includes four complete practice exams.

Rating: (out of 7 reviews)

List Price: $ 18.95
Price: $ 17.00

Be Prepared for the AP Computer Science Exam in Java Reviews

Review by :

I used their C++ version (ISBN 0965485366) for several years and my students loved it. This Java version is completely rewritten for the new exams in Java but in the same to-the-point style. Very complete review with four practice exams. It is slightly bigger than the C++ version: the Marine Biology case study chapter is included (used to be online).

Review by :

The Barron’s giude is very nice, but it basically reteaches evrything for the student, which is only good if you have the typicall AP Computer Science teacher, like the ones in the Reviews : My teacher was horribale, she doesn’t know anything about Java/C++/Pascal. She only knew about some other language and never assigned homework and was just horrible. If that is your teacher then get barron’s, but if your school is respectable enough to actually try to get a good Computer Science teacher then get this book, it actually reviews. Another plus over barron’s, this book actually has tips and an introduction to the test, Barron’s only has 3 pages compared to a chapter with Litvin’s guide on this subject.

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Balanced Introduction to Computer Science, A (2nd Edition)

This thoughtfully written volume uses the Internet as a central theme, studying its history, technology, and current use. Experimental problems use Web-based tools, enabling readers to learn programming fundamentals by developing their own interactive Web pages with HTML and JavaScript. Covers a broad range of topics balanced with programming depth in a hands-on, tutorial style. Uses revised HTML and JavaScript code throughout (updated to match current XHTML 1.0 and ECMA-262 standards, respectively). Introduces event-driven pages earlier. Updates statistics on the Internet/Web and computer specifications. Provides new material throughout on recent developments and new technologies. Appendices provide a useful reference for programmers.

Rating: (out of 5 reviews)

List Price: $ 109.00
Price: $ 41.06

Balanced Introduction to Computer Science, A (2nd Edition) Reviews

Review by Charles Ashbacher:

There are generally two courses for beginners in computing. “Introduction to Computers” is usually designed for people who know very little about computers and are interested in using them in their daily life. While “Introduction to Computer Science” covers some of the same material, it is designed for those who want to know how computers work, and perhaps even take some courses in computer science. This book is written for the second type of course.

Programming is introduced via HTML, which is in complete agreement with what I tell everyone who expresses an interest in learning to program. HTML is easy to understand, demonstrates some of the ideas of advanced programming and the feedback is immediate. Furthermore, initial programs can be small and since the student will most certainly be familiar with surfing the web, the results will make sense to them.

What most people consider to be true programming, writing code with variables, functions, if constructs, loops and user interaction, are introduced with JavaScript. This is also a sound decision, JavaScript is powerful enough to introduce the basics of programming, builds on the previous HTML coding and is freely available. Other chapters cover a brief history of computing, how data is represented in computers, the fundamentals of digital logic and the impact computers are having on society. A large number of images are used to reinforce the text, and exercises are embedded inside the chapters with another set at the end of the chapter.

If you are in the queue to teach an introduction to computer science course, then you should examine this book. It is well written and the level of presentation is appropriate for the typical student taking such a course. It could also be used for self-study.

Review by Mark Z. Filter:

This book was required for a college course. It is a great book to learn about Computer Science in general. The book focuses on the internet and creating basic Web-pages. You will learn how to work with JavaScript and HTML code. You gain the knowledge to generally understand how to possibly make a Forum website. The book stresses text/number input, manipulation of text/numbers, and then output of text/numbers in various ways. You will learn about the history of the internet, the difference between what the Internet is and the World Wide Web. Yes, there is a difference! The drawback to this book is that there are a lot of type-o’s in the code examples. You will learn enough in the book to be able to proof read the example, but it may cause you some headaches.

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Connecting with Computer Science

Written for the beginning computing student, this text engages readers by relating core computer science topics to their industry application. The book is written in a comfortable, informal manner, and light humor is used throughout the text to maintain interest and enhance learning. All chapters contain a multitude of exercises, quizzes, and other opportunities for skill application.

Rating: (out of 4 reviews)

List Price: $ 118.95
Price: $ 82.72

Connecting with Computer Science Reviews

Review by Charles Ashbacher:

During my career, I have taught beginning computer course across the spectrum from classes that are a basic introduction to how a computer is used to those that cover the fundamentals of computing for prospective computer science majors. This book is at the later end of that spectrum.

The coverage delves into some of the basic principles of computing; there are segments of source code in assembly all the way through Java. When it is time to solve some basic problems via a computer program, the solutions are expressed in Java. Other areas covered are the history of computing, the design and structure of computing solutions, data structures, basic computer architecture; the design of databases, security and ethics, how data is represented in a computer, operating systems, networking and the Internet.

There is some depth to the coverage in each of these areas, giving the instructor many options as to how in-depth you wish to go. A set of simple test questions is given at the end of each chapter and solutions to all are included in an appendix. Recently, I have taught a course in the fundamentals of computing for computer science majors. I do not know if and when I will teach such a course again. However, if I do, this will most certainly be the text that I will use.

Review by Naadace:

I had to buy this for school and it was actually one of the only textbooks I have somewhat enjoyed reading. In the beginning of every chapter, there is a section called the “lighter side of the lab” and it always made me giggle a little. I learned a lot from this book and I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in the basics of your computer “under the hood”.

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Logic in Computer Science: Modelling and Reasoning about Systems

Recent years have seen the development of powerful tools for verifying hardware and software systems, as companies worldwide realise the need for improved means of validating their products. There is increasing demand for training in basic methods in formal reasoning so that students can gain proficiency in logic-based verification methods. The second edition of this successful textbook addresses both those requirements, by continuing to provide a clear introduction to formal reasoning which is both relevant to the needs of modern computer science and rigorous enough for practical application. Improvements to the first edition have been made throughout, with extra and expanded sections on SAT solvers, existential/universal second-order logic, micro-models, programming by contract and total correctness. The coverage of model-checking has been substantially updated. Further exercises have been added. Internet support for the book includes worked solutions for all exercises for teachers, and model solutions to some exercises for students.

Rating: (out of 7 reviews)

List Price: $ 77.00
Price: $ 22.80

Logic in Computer Science: Modelling and Reasoning about Systems Reviews

Review by Steve Uhlig:

The coverage of this book is quite good for what concerns logic in computer science. However, using it as an introduction on logic for computer scientists is probably ambitious because the explanations are rather complicated for undergraduates. A first course on logic and another on AI would not hurt before getting into this one. Too many notions of computer science (syntax and semantics of programming languages, complexity) are needed to fully understand some topics, hence it is better that you already have a broad view of all aspects of computer science before reading this one. As an advanced course textbook to formal techniques in computer sciente on the other hand, this one would do the job.

Review by Jose Berlin:

A lot of good material is covered and in a relatively tight fashion. The presentation of logic is well done, but when getting into the BDDs, the explanations get a little complicated and I personally had to read it over several times before I could make sure I understood what was going on. This book also does not have anything on symmetry, so if that’s what you’re looking for, there are better books out there. However, this book can hold its own and I recommend it to anyone interested in learning the basics of model checking provided they can take handle some of the heavy duty reading.

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Geometric Algebra for Computer Science (Revised Edition): An Object-Oriented Approach to Geometry (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics)

Until recently, all of the interactions between objects in virtual 3D worlds have been based on calculations performed using linear algebra. Linear algebra relies heavily on coordinates, however, which can make many geometric programming tasks very specific and complex-often a lot of effort is required to bring about even modest performance enhancements. Although linear algebra is an efficient way to specify low-level computations, it is not a suitable high-level language for geometric programming.

Geometric Algebra for Computer Science presents a compelling alternative to the limitations of linear algebra. Geometric algebra, or GA, is a compact, time-effective, and performance-enhancing way to represent the geometry of 3D objects in computer programs. In this book you will find an introduction to GA that will give you a strong grasp of its relationship to linear algebra and its significance for your work. You will learn how to use GA to represent objects and perform geometric operations on them. And you will begin mastering proven techniques for making GA an integral part of your applications in a way that simplifies your code without slowing it down.

*Explains GA as a natural extension of linear algebra and conveys its significance for 3D programming of geometry in graphics, vision, and robotics.

*Systematically explores the concepts and techniques that are key to representing elementary objects and geometric operators using GA.

*Covers in detail the conformal model, a convenient way to implement 3D geometry using a 5D representation space.

*Presents effective approaches to making GA an integral part of your programming.

*Includes numerous drills and programming exercises helpful for both students and practitioners.

*Companion web site

Rating: (out of 3 reviews)

List Price: $ 69.95
Price: $ 37.47

Geometric Algebra for Computer Science (Revised Edition): An Object-Oriented Approach to Geometry (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics) Reviews

Review by J. Hanlon:

Geometric Algebra (GA) is a unifying mathematical language that should be taught instead of or at least in combination with traditional vector analysis. Most other books on GA are aimed at Physicists. This book is a better match for Engineers and Programmers. The authors are all active researchers in applications of GA. They have done a comprehensive and up to date job of collecting, organizing and presenting the material for both beginners and those who follow the development of GA on the web. The examples and problems use GAViewer, an easy to learn programming language with an Open GL view window that can be downloaded for free from the book website. Using GAViewer with the book is very good way to learn GA, especially the 5D Conformal model of 3D space. The authors hold nothing back. Between the book, the code and the website everything is there to make learning GA fun and useful. I highly recommend this book.

Review by Peeter Joot:

The book Geometric Algebra For Computer Science, by Dorst, Fontijne, and Mann has one of the best introductions to the subject that I have seen.

It contains particularly good introductions to the dot and wedge products and how they can be applied and what they can be used to model. After one gets comfortable with these ideas they introduce the subject axiomatically. Much of the pre-axiomatic introductory material is based on the use of the scalar product, defined as a determinant. You’ll have to be patient to see where and why that comes from, but this choice allows the authors to defer some of the mathematical learning overhead until one is ready for the ideas a bit better.

Having started study of the subject with papers of Hestenes, Cambridge, and Baylis papers, I found the alternate notation for the generalized dot product (L and backwards L for contraction) distracting at first but adjusting to it does not end up being that hard.

This book has three sections, the first covering the basics, the second covering the conformal applications for graphics, and the last covering implementation. As one reads geometric algebra books it is natural to wonder about this, and the pros, cons and efficiencies of various implementation techniques are discussed.

There are other web resources available associated with this book that are quite good. The best of these is GAViewer, a graphical geometric calculator that was the product of some of the research that generated this book. Performing the GAViewer tutorial exercises is a great way to build some intuition to go along with the math, putting the geometric back in the algebra.

There are specific GAViewer exercises that you can do independent of the book, and there is also an excellent interactive tutorial available. Browse the book website, or Search for ‘2003 Game Developer Lecture, Interactive GA tutorial. UvA GA Website: Tutorials’. Even if one decided not to learn GA, using this to play with the graphical cross product manipulation, with the ability to rotate viewpoints, is quite neat and worthwhile.

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Computer Science: A Structured Programming Approach Using C (3rd Edition)

The third edition of Computer Science: A Structured Programming Approach Using C continues to present both computer science theory and C-language syntax with a principle-before-implementation approach. Forouzan and Gilberg employ a clear organizational structure, supplemented by easy-to-follow figures, charts, and tables.

Rating: (out of 7 reviews)

List Price: $ 135.95
Price: $ 69.03

Computer Science: A Structured Programming Approach Using C (3rd Edition) Reviews

Review by Kenneth Finnegan:

If you want to learn C, this book might eventually get you there, but it felt pretty fluffy. 1000+ pages is a little much for such a simple language as C.

I also was floored to see code samples in the book that have syntax errors and don’t compile.

Review by J. Vanbuskirk:

Great product, required for my computer coding class. Very informative. Great book to skim since there’s a lot of useful information. If your having trouble on the homework, just whip this book out and you will almost always get an example similar to the problem.

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