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The Science of Programming Paperback – Apr 1 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 1st ed. 1981. 5th printing 1989 edition (April 1 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387964800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387964805
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 15.4 x 23 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,317,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Format: Paperback
This book makes my top-ten list of best computing books of the decade of the eighties. It certainly changed my outlook on how to write programs. The incorporation of logic into the code to mathematically prove that it works correctly was an ideal in the eighties and to some extent it remains an ideal. Nevertheless, that is not a reflection of the value of program correctness, but a consequence of the slow changes that sometimes take place in computing. Programmers may change their languages easily, but often not their styles.
At the time this book came out, I was in the process of designing and adding a course in computation theory with an emphasis on program correctness at Mount Mercy College. Before I encountered this book, I was having a difficult time pressing my case. However, after this book came out and I could use some of the comments regarding the significance of its' content, the course was easily approved. I also used the book in the class and the student comments were overwhelmingly positive. Ten years later, the book is still used in the class, something that is rare in computing.
The quality of the writing and explanations of the examples in the book are outstanding. Most of the students had no experience in formal logic, and yet they had little difficulty understanding and applying the concepts. The examples of proving the code correct were well chosen and I rarely heard any of the traditional complaints from math students regarding their frustrations over having to work through proofs.
The quality of programs would be dramatically increased if the principles of program correctness in this book were widely adopted. I continue to push for it every chance I get, and this review is one part of that push.
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Format: Paperback
The book provides an excellent introduction to logic and then shows how by using the language of logic and mathematics to specify pre-conditions and post-conditions one can develop provably correct programs from these pre-conditions and post-conditions.
I have used the methods in this book to develop advanced algorithms in Computer Graphics which could not have been developed in any other way.
The book is both a tutorial and reference. It is clearly written and organized.
When I first read this book, it was as though a bolt of lightning had struck me. Applying its methods, I became a much better programmer. I went from someone who struggled to get the code right to someone who always got the code right. For the first time I understood what programming was all about. I read the book on vacation while my wife and I were staying at my father's home in Sag Harbor New York and it was one of the most incredible intellectual adventures of my life. I'll never forget the smell of the sea and the sand and the logic going off like lightning flashes inside my brain.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
One of the best computing books of all time June 2 2002
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book makes my top-ten list of best computing books of the decade of the eighties. It certainly changed my outlook on how to write programs. The incorporation of logic into the code to mathematically prove that it works correctly was an ideal in the eighties and to some extent it remains an ideal. Nevertheless, that is not a reflection of the value of program correctness, but a consequence of the slow changes that sometimes take place in computing. Programmers may change their languages easily, but often not their styles.
At the time this book came out, I was in the process of designing and adding a course in computation theory with an emphasis on program correctness at Mount Mercy College. Before I encountered this book, I was having a difficult time pressing my case. However, after this book came out and I could use some of the comments regarding the significance of its' content, the course was easily approved. I also used the book in the class and the student comments were overwhelmingly positive. Ten years later, the book is still used in the class, something that is rare in computing.
The quality of the writing and explanations of the examples in the book are outstanding. Most of the students had no experience in formal logic, and yet they had little difficulty understanding and applying the concepts. The examples of proving the code correct were well chosen and I rarely heard any of the traditional complaints from math students regarding their frustrations over having to work through proofs.
The quality of programs would be dramatically increased if the principles of program correctness in this book were widely adopted. I continue to push for it every chance I get, and this review is one part of that push.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book on writing correct programs Dec 22 1999
By booklover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book provides an excellent introduction to logic and then shows how by using the language of logic and mathematics to specify pre-conditions and post-conditions one can develop provably correct programs from these pre-conditions and post-conditions.
I have used the methods in this book to develop advanced algorithms in Computer Graphics which could not have been developed in any other way.
The book is both a tutorial and reference. It is clearly written and organized.
When I first read this book, it was as though a bolt of lightning had struck me. Applying its methods, I became a much better programmer. I went from someone who struggled to get the code right to someone who always got the code right. For the first time I understood what programming was all about. I read the book on vacation while my wife and I were staying at my father's home in Sag Harbor New York and it was one of the most incredible intellectual adventures of my life. I'll never forget the smell of the sea and the sand and the logic going off like lightning flashes inside my brain.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A very good book in the diffcult field Sept. 9 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book deals with the way of development of programs using mathematical principles. This line of observation ( mentioned in the preface) " One can not learn to write large programs effectively until one has learned to write small ones effectively" captures the motivation of the book. There are three parts; part I introduces predicate logic; it includes natural deduction system; Part II builds the mathematical treatment of the programming constructs like assignment, alternative, iterative command and procedure call. Part III shows how programs are developed and proved correct using the mathematical principles discussed earlier. Given the nature of the area, the book is written with a lot of attention to instructional impact. The best recommendation for the book is by Dijkstra: The topic deserves no less author... To get the message across requires a scientist that combines his scientific involvement in the subject with the precious gifts of a devoted teacher".
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A book for programmers, not MFC nerds Dec 10 1999
By Partho Bhowmick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Simply put, a book that re-introduces the idea of program correctness over all else. An excellent source on program design & analysis, checking for correctness using a logic-based approach. A book that builds from the fundamentals. Not for those who are looking for quick fixes.
Anyone Claiming to Be a Programmer Should Own a Copy Oct. 24 2012
By ReadABook - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being asked to give this book a star rating is almost unfair. This book is foundational to the science of programming, and should be treated as foundational. Every serious programmer should own and read this book, to understand the base of the discipline. If you haven't read this book, you probably aren't actually a programmer.

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