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The Missing Link: What the Computer Science Professors Left Out, 8. Mai 2014
Understanding Computation (From Simple Machines to Impossible Programs), by Tom Stuart, is an absolute gem of a book. It's described as:
"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."
And it does exactly that. If you're a self-taught programmer, or a hobbyist who wants to learn more about the theoretical side of computer science, without drowning in research papers, I cannot recommend a better book. Using the ruby language as the starting point, the author moves concisely and clearly through parsers, DFA and NFA, regular expressions, and alone for these components would be worth recommending. Readers will get a solid understanding of how these common and critical components of most programming languages work, without actually getting lost in the complex source code of a full real-world implementation in a modern day language.
I don't recall another book that manages to treat Turing Machines in such a practical way, and expands into the lambda calculus, and the final section of the book covers core computer science concepts such as non-computability (the halting problem) in a way that will bring relief to many future computer science students.
With its absolute clarity, practical and engaging style, this book will be a classic for years to come.