Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: [sicp-vsg] Is it active?

Expand Messages
  • J. Pablo Fern√°ndez
    ... The group is not officially inactive, but it doesn t have much traffic lately. If you have a concrete question I am sure many will answer it because it has
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 26, 2007
      On Monday March 26 2007 04:36, prabhat137 wrote:
      > I've just recently begun to study SICP on my own, and joined this
      > group looking forward to an active study group, which in absence of a
      > course or instructor, I could use as a forum for communication and
      > discussion.
      > But I'm appalled to see spams inundating the group lately. Is the
      > group no longer active at all? Why ain't these spams discarded/controlled?

      The group is not officially inactive, but it doesn't have much traffic lately.
      If you have a concrete question I am sure many will answer it because it has
      happened before.
      As for the spam, it seems spammers got much better and are beating the current
      Yahoo filters. That's all.
      --
      J. Pablo Fern√°ndez <pupeno@...> (http://pupeno.com)
    • Philip Ansteth
      A friendly warning: Over the last several years, I ve made several attempts at understanding the Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs. I was
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 27, 2007
        A friendly warning:

        Over the last several years, I've made several attempts at understanding the Structure
        and Interpretation of Computer Programs.     I was only partially successful.

        A lot of people say SICP is a great book.   I tend to disagree.    You'll want to make up your own mind, I'm sure.

        Just to make my warning concrete, consider the exercise about Ackermann's function.   I submit that the problem cannot be understood nor worked on successfully within the context of SICP alone.   You have to go to some other source.

        It may or may not be worthwhile to read up on Ackermann's function.   But the
        point is that SICP is just no help.   No explanations.  No footnotes.  No guidance.

        Can you skip the exercise if it doesn't interest you?   Or is understanding
        it crucial to understanding later chapters?   The authors just don't say.  You're on your own.

        I suspect that SICP was written to serve the pedagogical purposes of MIT's computer science department.    I'm dubious about the practicality of studying it outside of that specialized context.




        prabhat137 <prabhat137@...> wrote:
        I've just recently begun to study SICP on my own, and joined this
        group looking forward to an active study group, which in absence of a
        course or instructor, I could use as a forum for communication and
        discussion.
        But I'm appalled to see spams inundating the group lately. Is the
        group no longer active at all? Why ain't these spams discarded/controlled?





        Philip Ansteth
        ANSTETH RESEARCH
        http://www.ansteth.net
        918-743-6342; 505-776-2468


        Now that's room service! Choose from over 150,000 hotels
        in 45,000 destinations on Yahoo! Travel
        to find your fit.

      • zarchne@micek.csz.com
        ... I d like to take this opportunity to answer the roll call. I got away from and behind the rest of the group probably at the same time it was in decline
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 27, 2007
          On Tue, Mar 27, 2007 at 10:34:11AM -0700, Philip Ansteth wrote:
          > prabhat137 <prabhat137@...> wrote:
          >> I've just recently begun to study SICP on my own, and joined this
          >> group looking forward to an active study group, which in absence of a
          >> course or instructor, I could use as a forum for communication and
          >> discussion.

          I'd like to take this opportunity to answer the roll call.
          I got away from and behind the rest of the group probably at
          the same time it was in decline anyway, but I haven't lost
          interest altogether and would be glad of the motivation to
          discuss and advance.

          > A friendly warning:
          >
          > Over the last several years, I've made several attempts
          > at understanding the Structure and Interpretation of
          > Computer Programs. I was only partially successful.

          > A lot of people say SICP is a great book. I tend to
          > disagree. You'll want to make up your own mind, I'm
          > sure.

          Can hardly not be true.

          > Just to make my warning concrete, consider the exercise
          > about Ackermann's function.

          (1.10)

          > I submit that the problem
          > cannot be understood nor worked on successfully within
          > the context of SICP alone. You have to go to some other
          > source.

          I disagree. The first three parts of the question are
          completely straightforward and the last three parts require
          only some observation and thought about the process.

          > It may or may not be worthwhile to read up on Ackermann's function.

          (Of course I am in the camp that it is unnecessary and, as
          it happens, unhelpful.)

          > But the point is that SICP is just no help. No
          > explanations. No footnotes. No guidance.

          (For none is really needed.)

          > Can you skip the exercise if it doesn't interest you?
          > Or is understanding it crucial to understanding later
          > chapters? The authors just don't say. You're on your
          > own.

          I would say that the exercises are intended to cement your
          understanding of the section to which they are attached, not
          teach new ideas.

          > I suspect that SICP was written to serve the pedagogical
          > purposes of MIT's computer science department. I'm
          > dubious about the practicality of studying it outside of
          > that specialized context.

          I say instead that it merely requires a certain degree of
          mathematical maturity. (Exercise 1.13, for example, assumes
          you already know how to do a proof by induction.) Perhaps a
          rating system similar to Knuth's _Art of Computer
          Programming_ (of which I have worked a far smaller
          percentage of the exercises) would indeed be helpful.

          I think, if you enjoyed (say, much of) your first year
          calculus class, this is likely a good book for you. In
          other words, it's not necessary to be an MIT student to
          benefit from the book, only to be able to think like one.

          In any case, I'm sure those of us still subscribed would be
          happy to discuss and help out.
        • Ghalib -
          I started on SICP pretty much at the same time this mailing list went to sleep, and got answers to my questions on #scheme on Freenode (a fair share of thanks
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 31, 2007
            I started on SICP pretty much at the same time this mailing list went to sleep, and got answers to my questions on #scheme on Freenode (a fair share of thanks go to pjb for answering some of my questions).  Regarding what Mr. Ansteth said, it has to be said that SICP is not for everyone. It is tough going, and some background in rigorous thinking is probably required (whether it's thinking about programming, or a background in some beginning university-level maths). It's not a question of "oh, I'm not smart as MIT students". You probably do not have the required background, or your background is rusty. And that's fine. You could either get the background and then go back to it, or work through the book How to Design Programs instead.

            -Ghalib

            On 28/03/07, zarchne@... <zarchne@... > wrote:

            On Tue, Mar 27, 2007 at 10:34:11AM -0700, Philip Ansteth wrote:
            > prabhat137 <prabhat137@...> wrote:
            >> I've just recently begun to study SICP on my own, and joined this
            >> group looking forward to an active study group, which in absence of a
            >> course or instructor, I could use as a forum for communication and
            >> discussion.

            I'd like to take this opportunity to answer the roll call.
            I got away from and behind the rest of the group probably at
            the same time it was in decline anyway, but I haven't lost
            interest altogether and would be glad of the motivation to
            discuss and advance.

            > A friendly warning:
            >
            > Over the last several years, I've made several attempts
            > at understanding the Structure and Interpretation of
            > Computer Programs. I was only partially successful.

            > A lot of people say SICP is a great book. I tend to
            > disagree. You'll want to make up your own mind, I'm
            > sure.

            Can hardly not be true.

            > Just to make my warning concrete, consider the exercise
            > about Ackermann's function.

            (1.10)

            > I submit that the problem
            > cannot be understood nor worked on successfully within
            > the context of SICP alone. You have to go to some other
            > source.

            I disagree. The first three parts of the question are
            completely straightforward and the last three parts require
            only some observation and thought about the process.

            > It may or may not be worthwhile to read up on Ackermann's function.

            (Of course I am in the camp that it is unnecessary and, as
            it happens, unhelpful.)

            > But the point is that SICP is just no help. No
            > explanations. No footnotes. No guidance.

            (For none is really needed.)

            > Can you skip the exercise if it doesn't interest you?
            > Or is understanding it crucial to understanding later
            > chapters? The authors just don't say. You're on your
            > own.

            I would say that the exercises are intended to cement your
            understanding of the section to which they are attached, not
            teach new ideas.

            > I suspect that SICP was written to serve the pedagogical
            > purposes of MIT's computer science department. I'm
            > dubious about the practicality of studying it outside of
            > that specialized context.

            I say instead that it merely requires a certain degree of
            mathematical maturity. (Exercise 1.13, for example, assumes
            you already know how to do a proof by induction.) Perhaps a
            rating system similar to Knuth's _Art of Computer
            Programming_ (of which I have worked a far smaller
            percentage of the exercises) would indeed be helpful.

            I think, if you enjoyed (say, much of) your first year
            calculus class, this is likely a good book for you. In
            other words, it's not necessary to be an MIT student to
            benefit from the book, only to be able to think like one.

            In any case, I'm sure those of us still subscribed would be
            happy to discuss and help out.


          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.