[Air-L] Non-Code-Centric Texts in Introductions To Computer Science?

Pete[r] Landwehr plandweh at cs.cmu.edu
Sun Sep 26 21:18:59 PDT 2010

Hey list,

I have an open ended question for this list that is intended to be a
bit selfish and (hopefully) a bit beneficial for everyone else.
Recently, I read Weizenbaum's Computing Power And Human Reason, in
which he makes arguments about the things that AI should & shouldn't
address. (It's a bit dated.) In it, he makes a point that because he
is trained as a computer scientist he considers himself a poorly
educated entrant to the debate, & later suggests that an introduction
to computer science should be more than an introduction to
programming, but also into some of the theory behind the field. (By
"theory", I mean the conceptual ideas behind computing, not discrete
mathematics.) As a computer scientist whose introduction to computer
science was essentially an introduction to programming along with some
key algorithms in the field and a few good software engineering
practices, I found his argument appealing.

As such, I'd like to ask the list -both computer scientists and non-
what (if any) texts would you like undergraduate computer scientists
to be exposed to that are _not_ solely focused on good practices in
C++/Java/<Language of Choice> programming?  Baudrillard's Simulacra
And Simulations? Lessig's Code v. 2? Simon's The Sciences Of The
Artificial? Some linguistics text by Chomsky? Or is this whole idea
dumb & everything is totally hunky-dory?



More information about the Air-L mailing list