Monday, January 30, 2006

Teaching myself Lisp

Whenever I can make some time these days, I try and make progress with learning Lisp. To begin with, I started with a refresher on Lambda. I remembered some of the lambda calculus stuff, but not a whole lot. Google search pointed me to Wikipedia entries, so that's where I went.

Next I searched for some basic tutorials on Lisp that could get me started. This is the one I ended up using:
Once I was through with this tutorial, I started looking for good books. I found the Common Lisp: The Language book online. I've now downloaded it on my powerbook (which is running for hours on battery now!)

I always felt I could learn better if I had programming problems to work through. They make you wade through some basic concepts that elude you when you are simply reading tutorials etc. After I looked around a bit, I picked up the class assignments from a course at Georgia Tech (where I actually had spent 2 years, without taking this course -- what a waste!): Class CS 2360.

I am almost done with the second assingment now. They weren't very tough, but I couldn't stop myself from smiling when I solved some simple problems like swapping the first and the fourth elements of a list, or implementing simple set operations.

I also bought a copy of Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs. It's been a great read so far -- I am still in the first chapter.

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