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Top (max 10) reviews: Introduction to Computation and Programming Using Python: With Application to Understanding Data (MIT Press).

4.6 out of 5.0    21 total reviews.

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4.0 out of 5.0 -

by G. Forman on Nov. 14, 2016

I chose this book for teaching a small intro CS class in Python (3), after reviewing a lot of other books. So many are focused on all the details of the language, but I wanted a book that taught more of the big ideas of computer science/programming. Like: exhaustive enumeration is an amazingly powerful tool in 2016 where our processors go way faster than our programmers go. And bisection search. There's other good, practical outlook in the book. Go read the table of contents. I wish the introduction of OOP were a little easier for beginners. I enjoy Guttag's footnotes and musings.

4.0 out of 5.0 -

by Adrian on June 9, 2017

This is a good CS book and you'll learn enough Python that you can write and understand the programs in the text. But this is no Python tutorial so if you're looking to learn the language in depth, this book won't help you with that.
As an introductory text on computation (as opposed to programming, they're different) this book would be tough to beat. It gives exposure to many fundamental concepts including complexity, which is a topic not often touched on in introductory texts.
The coverage of the topics in the book is more broad than deep, but don't make the mistake of thinking that means the book is 'easy'. You'll have to put some effort in studying to get any benefit from the book, but presumably that's why you bought it so that should be no problem. You don't need to know anything about programming and your high school math will be enough for you to understand the topics presented; but you will have to work at some of it.

5.0 out of 5.0 -

by Andrew Tang on Dec. 27, 2016

This book is a supplement for 6.001x and 6.002x which are introductory computer science courses offered by MIT on It is very well written and an absolute must-read if taking the courses.

5.0 out of 5.0 -

by Laurie L. on July 31, 2017

If you're taking MITx 6.00.1x on edX, you NEED this book. This book has a lot of clarifications and examples that will make your progress on the course so much easier. Also, there are free editions of this book available elsewhere, but they don't cover Python 3, and this book does. Well worth the money!

5.0 out of 5.0 -

by Tongtong Wang on Jan. 18, 2017

Without a doubt, this book is a masterpiece on computation and computer science.I bought this book for the Edx lesson Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python.After finished 2 chapters, it's quite obvious that Prof. Guttag is an expert in his fields.I like the clear and light language of this book.
As the author said, this book will be many students only formal exposure to computer science.I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to become more confident in programming and more skillful in problem-solving using computers.I encourage you to enroll in the Edx lesson I mentioned.
The second edition has been greatly expanded compared to the first edition.It contain two-semester-long material now.
I'm a Chinese and I choose the slowest shipping option.The shipping process took 45 days.I think that I'll never buy any book from think Amazon Japan will be a better choice. companion

5.0 out of 5.0 -

by malerroto on Sept. 21, 2017

This is a great book that covers a lot of ground on the field of computer science. Don't expect it to be a step by step guide of how to program in the Python language, or how to use its multiple libraries. Instead this books uses Python to teach you about computation and how to think and solve problems like a computer scientist.
Sintaxis, semantics, algorithms and computational complexity are some of the topics you can expect to see in this book, and even though, at some point I had to spent quite a bit of time rereading to grasp some of the concepts, if you have the patience and time, is well worth it!
Finger exercises (coding exercises) really give you a chance to put the knowledge you acquire to good use

5.0 out of 5.0 -

by Nick Staresinic on May 23, 2017

Particularly well written, very well organized, and presented in a straight-forward, thought-provoking style. No wasted words, purple prose, or "look-at-the-jargon-I-know" approach.
A great companion for the excellent two-part Guttag-Grimson edX course.
And just enough of an intro to Python to be a springboard into that popular language. (It is not -- and it does not claim to be -- a Python text, so I think that reviews that down-grade it even slightly on that account miss the point of this worthwhile book's objective.)

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by Duy on Oct. 1, 2016

This is a great book about computer science, but it's a pity that this book (now second edition with a lot of courses and students used it) doesn't follow Python coding convention. If you want to study Python, get an another book, if you are an experienced Python and want to sharpen your computer science knowledge, get this book.

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by SisyphusJen on Oct. 26, 2017

A very good intro book that not only teaches you the codes/syntax but also methodologies of computing. I bought it for MIT's intro to Python course on EdX, as this is the recommended textbook. The course and the book are both great!

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by Robert S. Knapp on July 21, 2017

I use this for taking online MIT course in Python. A good resource.