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Animated Problem Solving: An Introduction to Program Design Using Video Game Development

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  • Дата: 17-01-2022, 16:58
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Animated Problem Solving: An Introduction to Program Design Using Video Game DevelopmentНазвание: Animated Problem Solving: An Introduction to Program Design Using Video Game Development
Автор: Marco T. Morazan
Издательство: Springer
Серия: Texts in Computer Science
Год: 2022
Страниц: 688
Язык: английский
Формат: pdf (true)
Размер: 10.9 MB

This textbook is about systematic problem solving and systematic reasoning using type-driven design. There are two problem solving techniques that are emphasized throughout the book:divide and conqueranditerative refinement. Divide and conquer is the process by which a large problem is broken into two or more smaller problems that are easier to solve and then the solutions for the smaller pieces are combined to create an answer to the problem. Iterative refinement is the process by which a solution to a problem is gradually made better–like the drafts of an essay. Mastering these techniques are essential to becoming a good problem solver and programmer.

In this textbook, all the solutions to problems are expressed as programs. It is important to be somewhat precise about what a program is. A program is much more than just code written using a programming language. Remember that a program is a solution to a problem. Therefore, a program has a design, code, examples of how it works, and tests. That is, it communicates how the problem is solved and illustrates that the solution works. If any of the mentioned components are missing, then we have an incomplete program.

The book is divided in five parts. Part I focuses on the basics. It starts with how to write expressions and subsequently leads to decision making and functions as the basis for problem solving. Part II then introduces compound data of finite size, while Part III covers compound data of arbitrary size like e.g. lists, intervals, natural numbers, and binary trees. It also introduces structural recursion, a powerful data-processing strategy that uses divide and conquer to process data whose size is not fixed. Next, Part IV delves into abstraction and shows how to eliminate repetitions in solutions to problems. It also introduces generic programming which is abstraction over the type of data processed. This leads to the realization that functions are data and, perhaps more surprising, that data are functions, which in turn naturally leads to object-oriented programming. Part V introduces distributed programming, i.e., using multiple computers to solve a problem.

This book promises that by the end of it readers will have designed and implemented a multiplayer video game that they can play with their friends over the internet. To achieve this, however, there is a lot about problem solving and programming that must be learned first. The game is developed using iterative refinement. The reader learns step-by-step about programming and how to apply new knowledge to develop increasingly better versions of the video game. This way, readers practice modern trends that are likely to be common throughout a professional career and beyond.

“What can attacking aliens teach us about programming? Everything from basic data to distributed computing! This book uses animations to teach this very broad sweep of topics, using simple games to motivate and illustrate ideas, while grounding everything in strong design processes―showing that introductory texts do not need to (falsely) choose between sparking interest and maintaining rigor.” (Shriram Krishnamurthi, Computer Science Department, Brown University)

“This is one of those rare programming books that is much more about algorithmic thinking and problem solving than a specific programming language. The author takes us on a gentle and entertaining journey to improve our problem solving skills using variations of Aliens Attack and other attractive challenges. Warmly recommended to increase your logical thinking, even if you are not a computer science student.” (Pieter Koopman, Institute for Computing and Information Sciences Radboud, University Nijmegen) 

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