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Think Java: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist
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  • Title Think Java: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist
  • Author(s) Allen B. Downey, Chris Mayfield
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (May 25, 2016)
  • License(s): CC BY-NC 4.0
  • Paperback 260 pages
  • eBook HTML and PDF
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1491929561
  • ISBN-13: 978-1491929568
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Book Description

If you want to understand computer science, but have no programming experience, this book is for you. Think Java starts with the most basic programming concepts and carefully defines every term when it's first used. The authors then develop each new concept in a logical progression. Larger pieces like recursion and object-oriented programming are divided into a sequence of smaller steps and introduced over the course of several chapters.

This book is also concise. Each chapter is 12-14 pages and covers the material for one week of a college course. Rather than present a comprehensive presentation of Java, the authors instead focus on the tools of software design, starting with small functions and basic algorithms, and working up to object-oriented design.

  • Readable: while most other books forget to define terms or introduce too much material at once, Think Java is careful to define all terms and present difficult topics gradually
  • One concept at a time: breaks the topics that give students the most trouble into a series of small steps so that students can exercise new concepts before continuing
  • Balance of language and concepts: the book is not primarily about Java, but uses Java examples to demonstrate software engineering concepts

Think Java is appropriate as a textbook in an introductory college or high school class. The book is currently in use at several colleges, universities, and high schools. It's appropriate for people learning Java as a first language, including students learning on their own and professionals who are retraining.

About the Authors
  • Allen Downey is a Professor of Computer Science at Olin College of Engineering. He has taught at Wellesley College, Colby College and U.C. Berkeley. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley and Master's and Bachelor's degrees from MIT.
  • Chris Mayfield is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at James Madison University. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Purdue University and Bachelor's degrees in CS and German from the University of Utah. His research focuses on CS education and K-12.
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