About the content
This course is an introduction to the basic concepts of programming languages, with a strong emphasis on functional programming. The course uses the languages ML, Racket, and Ruby as vehicles for teaching the concepts, but the real intent is to teach enough about how any language “fits together” to make you more effective programming in any language -- and in learning new ones. This course is neither particularly theoretical nor just about programming specifics -- it will give you a framework for understanding how to use language constructs effectively and how to design correct and elegant programs. By using different languages, you will learn to think more deeply than in terms of the particular syntax of one language. The emphasis on functional programming is essential for learning how to write robust, reusable, composable, and elegant programs. Indeed, many of the most important ideas in modern languages have their roots in functional programming. Get ready to learn a fresh and beautiful way to look at software and how to have fun building it. The course assumes some prior experience with programming, as described in more detail in the first module. The course is divided into three Coursera courses: Part A, Part B, and Part C. As explained in more detail in the first module of Part A, the overall course is a substantial amount of challenging material, so the three-part format provides two intermediate milestones and opportunities for a pause before continuing. The three parts are designed to be completed in order and set up to motivate you to continue through to the end of Part C. The three parts are not quite equal in length: Part A is almost as substantial as Part B and Part C combined. Week 1 of Part A has a more detailed list of topics for all three parts of the course, but it is expected that most course participants will not (yet!) know what all these topics mean.
- Week 1 - Introduction and Course-Wide Information (Start Here)
Welcome! Start here! Learn about this course and how it's organized.
- Week 1 - Software Installation and Homework 0
This module contains two things: (1) The information for the [unusual] software you need to install for Programming Languages Part A. (2) An optional "fake" homework that you can turn in for auto-grading and peer assessment to get used to the mechanics of assi...
- Week 2 - Section 1 and Homework 1
It's time to dive in! Start with a careful reading of the "Section 1 Welcome Message" and go from there.
- Week 3 - Section 2 and Homework 2
This section is a particularly rewarding one where a lot of ideas come together to reveal a surprisingly elegant underlying structure in ML. As usual, start with the welcome reading, dive into the material, and leave plenty of time to approach the programming...
- Week 4 - Section 3 and Homework 3 -- and Course Motivation
This section is all about higher-order functions -- the feature that gives functional programming much of its expressiveness and elegance -- and its name! As usual, the first reading below introduces you to the section, but it will make more sense once you di...
- Week 5 - Section 4 and Part-A Exam
We finish Part A of the course with this module. As explained in more detail in the welcome message, we discuss type inference, ML's module system, and the fundamental idea in computing of two computations being equivalent. There is no programming assignment...
Computer Science & Engineering
Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest state-supported institutions of higher education on the West Coast and is one of the preeminent research universities in the world.
Coursera is a digital company offering massive open online course founded by computer teachers Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller Stanford University, located in Mountain View, California.
Coursera works with top universities and organizations to make some of their courses available online, and offers courses in many subjects, including: physics, engineering, humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, digital marketing, data science, and other subjects.