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

MacDougall, Robert robert_macdougall at post03.curry.edu
Mon Sep 27 06:42:06 PDT 2010


Could add Norbert Weiner's Cybernetics to the list.  Or the more digestible version: The Human use of Human Beings.

Great question all around!

Robert MacDougall
Associate Professor 
Communication/Media Studies
Curry College
1071 Blue Hill Avenue
Milton, MA  02186-2395  USA
Office Ph: 617-333-2265

Wired media fiddle with the folk world - expose your kids to many modes.

-----Original Message-----
From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org [mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of Pete[r] Landwehr
Sent: Monday, September 27, 2010 12:19 AM
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
Subject: [Air-L] Non-Code-Centric Texts in Introductions To Computer Science?

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?


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