Matthias Felleisen and his colleagues in The PLT group are well known for their books on program design, their work on teaching programming, and for the research that has led to DrScheme, one of the most powerful and flexible programming environments ever created. In this book they turn their attention to the subject of programming language semantics, with happy results. Courses on semantics can easily become as dry as dust; in contrast, this book is nothing short of revolutionary. The first part is a very clear explanation of the basic concepts in programming language semantics, starting with abstract models and moving to progressively more concrete ones. However, the book really comes alive in the second part, where they use the PLT Redex language that they have developed to interactively explore language semantics in the same way that DrScheme allows the interactive exploration of programs. I believe that this approach will become the standard way of doing semantics research in the future, and there is no better way to take advantage of it than to read this book.(Michael Vanier, Department of Computer Science, Caltech)
About the Author
Matthias Felleisen, Robert Bruce Findler, and Matthew Flatt are the authors (with Shiram Krishnamurthi) of How to Design Programs: An Introduction to Programming and Computing, also published by the MIT Press. Felleisen is Trustee Professor of Computer Science at Northeastern University and the coauthor (with Daniel Friedman) of The Little Schemer and three other "Little" books published by the MIT Press. Findler is Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the Northwestern University. Flatt is Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Utah.