Introduction to Media Computation: A Multimedia Cookbook in Python

Introduction to Media Computation: A Multimedia Cookbook in Python

An introduction to programming and media computation using Python.

Tag(s): Python

Publication date: 01 Jan 2004

ISBN-10: n/a

ISBN-13: n/a

Paperback: n/a

Views: 11,429

Type: N/A

Publisher: n/a

License: n/a

Post time: 25 Apr 2008 10:13:20

Introduction to Media Computation: A Multimedia Cookbook in Python

Introduction to Media Computation: A Multimedia Cookbook in Python An introduction to programming and media computation using Python.
Tag(s): Python
Publication date: 01 Jan 2004
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: n/a
Paperback: n/a
Views: 11,429
Document Type: N/A
Publisher: n/a
License: n/a
Post time: 25 Apr 2008 10:13:20
Excerpts from the Preface:

This book is based on the proposition that very few people actually want to learn to program. However, most educated people want to use a computer, and the task that they most want to do with a computer is communicate. Alan Perlis first made the claim in 1961 that computer science, and programming explicitly, should be part of a liberal education [Greenberger, 1962]. However, what we've learned since then is that one doesn't just "learn to program." One learns to program something [Adelson and Soloway, 1985, Harel and Papert, 1990], and the motivation to do that something can make the difference between learning to program or not [Bruckman, 2000].

The philosophies which drive the structure of this book include:

- People learn concrete to abstract, driven by need. Teaching structure before content is painful and results in brittle knowledge that can't be used elsewhere [Bruer, 1993]. Certainly, one can introduce structure (and theory and design), but students won't really understand the structure until they have the content to fill it with – and a reason to need the structure. Thus, this book doesn't introduce debugging or design (or complexity or most of computer science) until the students are doing complex enough software to make it worthwhile learning.

- Repetition is good. Variety is good. MarvinMinsky once said, "If you know something only one way, you don't know it at all." The same ideas come back frequently in this book. The same idea is framed in multiple ways. I will use metaphor, visualizations, mathematics, and even computer science to express ideas in enough different ways that one of the ways will ring true for the individual student.

- The computer is the most amazingly creative device that humans have ever conceived of. It is literally completely made up of mind-stuff. As the movie says, "Don't just dream it, be it." If you can imagine it, you can make it "real" on the computer. Playing with programming can be and should be enormous fun.




About The Author(s)


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Mark Guzdial

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