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

Bernhard Rieder lists at procspace.net
Mon Sep 27 08:18:52 PDT 2010

  Hi Peter,

I think that there are actually quite a lot of books out there that may 
capture the interest of CS people without being centered on code or 
engineering practices. I'd suggest the following classics:

"Winograd & Flores: Understanding Computers and Cogition"
"Agre: Computation and Human Experience"
"Brown & Duguid: The Social Life of Information"

A good place to lookfor more may be: 

I also think that the historical approach to computing has the potential 
to provide a wider perspective to your students.

"Edwards: The Closed World" is quite fascinating and "Campbell-Kelly & 
Aspray: Computer. A History of the Information Machine" is still the 
best general history of computing I've read.

cheers and good luck for tickling that inner humanist in your codesquad...

Bernhard Rieder
Laboratoire Paragraphe
Université de Paris VIII

bernhard.rieder at univ-paris8.fr

On 9/27/10 6:18 , Pete[r] Landwehr wrote:
> 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?
> Best,
> pml
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