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University of Washington

Programming Languages, Part B

University of Washington via Coursera


[As described below, this is Part B of a 3-part course. Participants should complete Part A first -- Part B "dives right in" and refers often to material from Part A.]

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 of Part A. Part B assumes successful completion of Part A.

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.

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.

Taught by

Dan Grossman


4.0 rating, based on 4 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Programming Languages, Part B

  • Chris Dziewa is taking this course right now, spending 20 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

    I will preface this by saying that I liked the first course and the instructor is extremely intelligent. The first week of part B was difficult but more straight-forward. The second week seemed easy but I ended up spending about 20 hours debugging…
  • Shashank Sharma
    - great instructor
    - great flow of the course
    - great content and language selection
    - good exercises to help grok the content and concepts. The course could have benefitted by having some more exercises though.
    - highly recommended
  • Đạt Quang Trần

    Đạt Quang Trần completed this course.

  • Joseph Ramaswami

    Joseph Ramaswami completed this course.

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