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Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science, 2nd Ed. Paperback – Student Edition, May 7, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1590282410 ISBN-10: 1590282418 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Franklin, Beedle & Associates Inc.; 2 edition (May 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590282418
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590282410
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book as a great intro to Python Programming.
Dunthy
I am new to the computer science field and this book is required for my computer science course for the upcoming semester.
Joe R.
Well written, clear language, easy to understand, with lots of examples well explained.
Luiz Augusto Soares Castro

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 61 people found the following review helpful By AS on February 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was new to Python and fairly new to programming when I read this book. This book is extremely clear and well-written. It introduces a novice to the foundational concepts of computer science. There are many great examples and activities that the reader can jump into almost immediately. I had already written my first Python program after 10 minutes of reading.

I highly recommend this book for beginners.
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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Donovan on October 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book a couple months ago and have been thoroughly impressed.

I have never learned a programming language before, but I am fairly knowledgeable about technology in general. I decided to take the plunge, and figured the best place to start would be learning the basics of computer science.

This book is fantastic for a number of reasons. The first reason is the choice of language. When I first developed an interest in programming, one of the things I struggled with was what language to learn. As someone who has a full time job and no easy access to developers, I wanted to make sure it was something that I could realistically learn on my own. Python is the perfect choice and I would recommend it to any beginner. The syntax is very simple, its high level and object oriented, and its very popular right now.

This book is also incredibly readable. Many other resources that I've looked at that are aimed at beginners overlook some basic concepts that need to be explained. The author's often have too much expertise, and something that seems obvious and self evident to them may not be as obvious to a complete beginner. This book doesn't make that mistake. Each concept is explained simply, but omitting no detail, and the syntax is explained thoroughly (which doesn't take much with Python).

After a few weeks of working with this book, I was writing simple programs to transform data arrays and produce CSV output files for my job. The fact that you can very quickly deploy what you've learned in a useful way really gets you excited and interested in learning more.

Anyone interested in learning Python, or programming in general, should start with this book. Its just excellent.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Daquan Wright on August 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm rather new to CS, am a major in it as well. I dabble in various languages, which range from: Python to PHP to MooTools. This book teaches you theoretical computer science concepts as well as the art of programming via Python 3. It doesn't have a ton of pages and it executes its goal very well, which is to introduce students to the field of computer science and to focus on problem solving instead of complicated syntax and compiler issues. The programs are very mathematically based and it's a bit tedious (I find most technical subjects are), but the examples are fascinating if you love the idea of what can be computed. You'll broaden your mind and be ready to dive into actual programming after doing the exercises in this book.

The key point I want to drive home, is that this book is designed to teach the theory and concepts of Computer Science as it relates to programming and computing. It's not a book that teaches you Python step by step, but you'll certainly be capable of programming in Python after a thorough reading. You really need to sit down and read over the book a couple of times. I do this for my math texts as well, understanding and reasoning the material is fundamental to obtaining the knowledge in it.

Because it's teaching broad theory that applies to all modern programming languages, I find it rich but it takes far more time to understand than say just a tutorial on language. However, this book is what should be your foundation for when you eventually will begin embarking on various programming languages and development tools.
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89 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Kaydell on June 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
I had the opportunity to teach a student "Introduction to Computer Science, Using Python", one-on-one so I selected this book and she bought us each a copy.

The book's OK I guess. Though, in chapter 1 the author introduced "Chaos Theory" which is OK I guess, but I would have rather seen more and simpler coding examples, such as "here's a simple sequence of instructions", and especially "here's a simple for-loop" before putting it all together and talking about chaos theory.

Also, from the first chapter and throughout the book, the author repeatedly misused the eval() function. There was a so called example something like the following:

x = eval(input("Enter a floating-point number: "))

This is just bad practice. It's laziness on the author's part. It's bad to let the user type in anything and then call the eval() function since eval() evaluates whatever the user types in as Python code.

This is the kind of bad security practice that allows hackers to steal or destroy data.

This security problem was fixed in Python3 and the author is reducing things back to the Python2 level of insecurity.

What would be better is code such as the following:

x = float(input("Enter a floating-point number: "))

Then, if the user typed in something bad, an exception would be thrown.

Eventually, I would take it a step further and make a function to ask the user for a float:

def askFloat(prompt):
return float(input(prompt))

x = askFloat("Enter a floating-point number: ")

Then, as the course progressed, I would add to the function askFloat() so that it would handle bad input, such as alphabetic input too, and loop and let the user try again.

Where I learned computer programming from, they taught us to develop programs that could correctly handle anything that the user could enter.
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Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science, 2nd Ed.
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