Lecture 1: What’s So Important About Language?

An introduction to the course; review of some programming languages, and why we might use one rather than another; how languages shape programs, or even the way we think about them; some topics to be covered in the course.

As explained in the lecture, I regret that owing to personal circumstances I shall not be able to lecture this semester. At present it seems most likely that the course will not run in this session. I shall post final confirmation as to whether APL is running (and if so, how) on the course blog by Friday. My sincere apologies, particularly for the short notice of this.

Homework

Regardless of whether the course continues, I strongly recommend that you go out and learn interesting things about programming languages for yourselves. Some very easy starters:

  1. Read the Wikipedia article on the History of Programming Languages. If you find that it’s missing something, fix that.
  2. Find out about the blub paradox.

Some Excellent Semester 1 Courses

If APL does not run, then sadly you will have to make to with something else. Here are some alternative courses running in Semester 1, which I feel share some interests with this course. Undergraduate students should note the relevant year; MSc students may take any of these.

Year 4
Year 5

I have also posted a question to the forum if anyone wants to add comments or suggestions of other courses.

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