What you'll learn
Introduction and Course-Wide Information
Software Installation and Homework 0
Section 1 and Homework 1
Section 2 and Homework 2
Section 3 and Homework 3 — and Course Motivation
Section 4 and Part-A Exam
This course is an introduction to the basic concepts of programming languages, with a strong emphasis on functional programming. The course uses the languages ML, Racket, and Ruby as vehicles for teaching the concepts, but the real intent is to teach enough about how any language “fits together” to make you more effective programming in any language – and in learning new ones. This course is neither particularly theoretical nor just about programming specifics – it will give you a framework for understanding how to use language constructs effectively and how to design correct and elegant programs. By using different languages, you will learn to think more deeply than in terms of the particular syntax of one language. The emphasis on functional programming is essential for learning how to write robust, reusable, composable, and elegant programs.
Indeed, many of the most important ideas in modern languages have their roots in functional programming. Get ready to learn a fresh and beautiful way to look at software and how to have fun building it. The course assumes some prior experience with programming, as described in more detail in the first module. The course is divided into three Coursera courses: Part A, Part B, and Part C. As explained in more detail in the first module of Part A, the overall course is a substantial amount of challenging material, so the three-part format provides two intermediate milestones and opportunities for a pause before continuing. The three parts are designed to be completed in order and set up to motivate you to continue through to the end of Part C. The three parts are not quite equal in length: Part A is almost as substantial as Part B and Part C combined. Week 1 of Part A has a more detailed list of topics for all three parts of the course, but it is expected that most course participants will not (yet!) know what all these topics mean.
Access to a computer or mobile device with an internet connection.
Motivation to learn!
There are no special materials or prerequisite knowledge required for this course.
Who this course is for
Students who are already familiar with this field
Students willing to put in a couple hours to learn about Programming Languages, Part A
Advanced students wanting to add another skill to their portfolio
Dan Grossman – Professor – Computer Science & Engineering
This course includes
Option for learning at your own pace
Videos and reading material about the course
Assessed tasks with feedback from other course participants
Evaluated tests with feedback
Evaluated programming tasks