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# Understanding Computation: From Simple Machines to Impossible Programs

by

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.

Rather than use mathematical notation or an unfamiliar academic programming l ...more

Rather than use mathematical notation or an unfamiliar academic programming l ...more

## Get A Copy

Paperback, 332 pages

Published
May 10th 2013
by O'Reilly Media
(first published January 1st 2013)

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*real*reason to be apologetic, I also haven't yet reached the point in my career as a software developer where I've stopped apologizing for the fact that I have no "real" Computer Science Background.[^1] And/but that's exactly what draws me to books like

*Understanding Computation*by Tom Stuart (O'Reilly, 2013). Stuart describes the books as for:

...programmers who are curious about programming languages and the theory of computation, especially those who don’t have...more

It goes over various things in theory of computation. I really like both the depth and the presentation.

Unlike a "Math for Programmers" book I read recently, this one is not shallow. It goes deep enough into all its subjects (automata, state machines, Turing machines, lambda calculus, types, and so on). Things don't just get overviewed – you get enough details to appreciate how those things actually work and what they are used for. Furthermore, every single abstract ...more

Definitely would recommend for any Rubyist interested in either reacquainting themselves ...more

Computation is not only about a "programming" as most of "new age programmers" think. Its much more deeper than that and this book will help you to understand it with the most practical way possible.

I should have come across this book while I was doing graduation but its better to be late than never. ;)

You can think of this book as easy entry to theoretical side of compatibility. Author has done fantastic job explaining all the hard core concepts without using esoteric langua ...more

I used this book as a refresher on the relevant courses during my bachelor. Specifically, I was looking for ways how use the concepts in my work.

Although I had my doubts before reading, the book actually does a great job of covering most of the subjects. The focus on the practical/technical side o ...more

I think it makes a great third Ruby book to read; choose the first two well. I'd recommend

*Eloquent Ruby*first, and second either

*Sinatra: Up And Running*or

*Practical Object Oriented Design*, if you want a ...more

I didn't have any "whoa, amazing" responses to what was presented --- most CS practitioners will encounter this stuff as part of their ...more

**Good intro to the basics**

A good introduction to the basics. Machines and programs. Definition of computability. Finite state machines, deterministic and non-deterministic. All the way up to different ways of specifying semantics. BUT I found the overly long overly intricate examples in Ruby hard to follow and something of a distraction.

Short and pithy would have been better. Worth a read though.

to perform computation. It covers important material from operational semantics, automaton

theory, different computational models like the turing machine, lambda calculus, partical recusive functions etc. until it closes with important results of in those fields that affect the decidability of problems and ultimately the reasoning about program behaviour. It provides a practical view on that matter by ...more

It obviously describes the Turing machines and lambda calculus, and also partial recursive functions, SKI combinator calculus, Jota, tag systems, cyclic tag systems, Conway's Game of Life, Rule 110, and Wolfra ...more

*This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.*

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