Preface

This textbook is an introduction to programming, computer application development, and the science of computing. It is meant to be used in a college-level introductory programming course. More than just an introduction to programming, the book is a broad introduction to computer science and to the concepts and tools used for modern computer application development.

The computer programming language used in the book is Python, a language that has a gentler learning curve than most. Python comes with powerful software libraries that make complex tasks—such as developing a graphics application or finding all the links in a web page—a breeze. In this textbook, we leverage the ease of learning Python and the ease of using its libraries to do more computer science and to add a focus on modern application development. The result is a textbook that is a broad introduction to the field of computing and modern application development.

The textbook's pedagogical approach is to introduce computing concepts and Python programming in a breadth-first manner. Rather than covering computing concepts and Python structures one after another, the book's approach is more akin to learning a natural language, starting from a small general-purpose vocabulary and then gradually extending it. The presentation is in general problem oriented, and computing concepts, Python structures, algorithmic techniques, and other tools are introduced when needed, using a “right tool at the right moment” model. ...

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