Computer Science - Distilled

Art of Solving Computational Problems


07 Apr 2018 View Comments
#bookreview #computer #programming #algorithm

If you are looking for an easy and simple read of essentials of computer science, reading Computer Science - Distilled by Wladston Ferreira Filho is a great start. There are various fundamental principles of computer science discussed in the book that programmers should at least know. After reading it, the book could probably be used as a reference guide when I have trouble remembering any of fundamentals. This book is a relatively quick overview of computer science easily explained to even a non-programmer. After spending few days reading it, I have a few afterthoughts.

PROS

  • Easy quick read, detailed & succinct explanation, examples with pictures/diagrams.

The book certainly contains a good rundown of what the computer science is about. If you are new to the programming and computer science and/or has a little knowledge of how the computer fits into the programming world, this book is probably a great start. I would definitely recommend the book to any computer science starters.

The book doesn’t have any complicated math formulas or graphs but rather explains the topic succinctly with simple texts and graphics. Yes, graphics. There are graphics all over the book for easier comprehension. The book relatively connects the topics well against those graphics. Well, I may have felt it that way because I already knew about 80-90% of the book contents. After all, I am a computer science major.

CONS

  • Poorly written last chapter (Programming), Too much information

If you are keen on the programming side, there are subtle annoyances throughout the book. For me, I didn’t like the way Wladston portrayed the last chapter, “Programming”. First, the book doesn’t even mention about Object Oriented (imperative). A little bit of history along with it may have been excellent. Also, when Wladston actually describes the functional programming, he doesn’t even mention the “side-effect” which I find very important for the functional programming. The programming stuffs discussed in the last chapter (Chapter 8) aren’t organized at all. In my opinion, this whole chapter is poorly written. It seemed to me he was trying to wrap up in his last chapter quickly.

The book tries to encapsulate too much information in a small number of pages. I find the overall chapters are jumping from one to another very quickly. I agree the chapters discussed in the book covers most of the rudimentary computer science related topics, but I think the book could use a bit of organization in the chapters with a connection between them.

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