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Top (max 10) reviews: Introduction to Computation and Programming Using Python.

3.6 out of 5.0    18 total reviews.

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4.0 out of 5.0 -

by Peter Koh on March 12, 2013

Although the course description says that the textbook is optional and they provide a watermarked copy available online, there's nothing better than having an e-book you can read on a full-size tablet! The textbook includes all the material covered in lecture as well as extra finger exercises that go beyond the finger exercises in the MOOC. There are also extra code samples in the textbook that aren't covered in the lectures.
Sometimes it helps to read the textbook material before viewing the lectures, as some of the topics we cover get quite dense after week 6 and the introduction of OOP. This textbook can also be a good introduction to advanced Python techniques such as generators, memoization, and passing multiple function arguments using *arg, **arg format. Although the book is called an "Intro to Computation and Programming," it contains material that is typically not covered in other intro courses (i.e. graphs, optimization, matplotlib, numpy). I highly recommend this textbook!
-From a current student of 6.00x SP2013

5.0 out of 5.0 -

by kiwi_trader on Feb. 6, 2013

This book covers the material well. The author runs an MITx course which ItCaPUP complements and at $9.99 it's good value.
The bad reviews are because this is a new Amazon format and its not obvious when you buy it. Its a .AZW4 which is a format for textbooks and looks like a PDF. As such you don't get the adjustable page widths of a normal kindle book.
So, for large screens or even 10" tablets this book is good - better that a normal kindle book because lines of code are represented as the author intended - but for 6" kindles its next to useless.
*** ***
Edit: Having read most of it I've upped the review rating to 5 stars. It is an excellent fit for the course answering questions I seem to have missed in the lectures. Having it on my PC plus my Nexus 10 makes swapping from reading to searching and coding simple.
When could we ever buy a textbook for less than 10 bucks?
Unlike MIT Press, who have yet to deliver the paperback I ordered before the course started, Amazon delivered it to my Kindle on the other side of the world in seconds.

3.0 out of 5.0 -

by danjammin on April 3, 2013

I bought this book to complement the edX Intro to Computer Science course. It is their primary recommended text and the author is the course leader. It is explained in a foreword that this is basically a compilation of the course notes, and to be honest, it does come across that way. It also states that there is a more refined version expected later this year (summer 2013).
The book's content follows the course content very closely, with most of the printed examples worked through during the lecture series. It is useful certainly, perhaps the way your old uni notes are useful, but I would definitely suggest something like Beazley's Python Essential Reference for a more comprehensive documentation of the language and coding examples.
In fairness, this book is presented as an introductory text and seems to meet this specification well enough. It should get you up and running in Python before too long and demonstrate some fundamental concepts that transcend any specific language.

4.0 out of 5.0 -

by Justin on July 26, 2013

Although a bit technical at times, this book has been immensely helpful with teaching me the basics of Python coding and all around computational programming problem solving. I wouldn't recommend trying to use this book as a primary resource...I, myself used and other online tools to help me grasp other basics of Python, first...but nevertheless, it is a most helpful tool. The author also has a great sense of humor, which helps keep things moving along! I would surely recommend this book to anyone who is a beginner trying to take their programming skills to the next level.

3.0 out of 5.0 -

by syberlane on Feb. 9, 2013

Great straight forward technical book on computation and programming with short concise chapters and topics that get straight to the point. The only shortfall in my opinion is that there could be a few more examples or problems explained.

4.0 out of 5.0 -

by F. M. Turner III on May 20, 2013

This book is designed to accompany the MIT course of the same name available online. It is also very useful on its own. However, there are still many typos and other errors in the text and at least one code example that need correction. I have the Spring 2013 edition, which the aurhor acknowledges to be incomplete. A "stable" edition is due in Summer 2013. If you a true beginner, wait for that edition.

5.0 out of 5.0 -

by Aaron Harmon on Feb. 25, 2013

I got this book for the MITx course. It's a great companion to the content of the course.
I like that the book is written to be tough and leaves room for the reader to figure things out on their own. It also provides information about the theory and science behind particular methodologies, making it more than a simple how to book.

4.0 out of 5.0 -

by Jim Burrow on April 13, 2013

I found this book very useful as an adjunct to the MIT OCW Scholar "Introduction to Computer Science and Programming". Things that were not clear from the videos lectures and recitations were made clear. I would recommend the book.

4.0 out of 5.0 -

by M. Beauregard on March 30, 2013

Subjects are introduced slowly and clearly. I only wish that the author would provide some example solutions to the "finger exercises" - these are often quite challenging and walking through solutions would be that much more helpful.

5.0 out of 5.0 -

by anonymous on July 9, 2015

I love this book. Easy to understand and I also can find additional classes
on MIT open courseware. Thanks Professor Guttag and MIT!