[TUHS] ratfor vibe

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Wed Feb 2 04:47:59 AEST 2022

On Tue, Feb 1, 2022 at 1:19 PM Noel Chiappa <jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu> wrote:

>     > From: Clem Cole
>     > So by the late 70s/early 80s, [except for MIT where LISP/Scheme
> reigned]
> Not quite. The picture is complicated, because outside the EECS department,
> they all did their own thing -
Interesting .. I trust you, but I had thought ( famously) you folks had
required a LISP and/or Scheme in the required "intro to computers" course
using the Gerald  Sussman and Hal Abelson "Structure of Computer Programs"
[Scheme IIRC] until it was finally replaced a few years ago with a
Python based one [I thought it was tjt that told me that, but I could
easily have been misled/misunderstood].

FWIW:  Through the 60s, the early and into the later 70s, CMU used to call
its 15-104 "Intro to Computer Programming" and was based on batch (card)
computing using FTN4, later WATFIV.  They used a number of books.  The book
I had was from Waterloo and other than being blue and black in color, I
remember little from it - since I already knew how and the TA let me take
'self-taught' by turning in assignments/taking the tests without going to
class.  Like Freshman Physics and Calc, all intro science and engineering
majors were required to take it however, since the engineering depts were
sure what you would see when you graduated was FTN based code [which was
probably true for the more pure Science types].   Much later (many years
after I left)  the CS Dept finally convinced Mat Sci, Chem E and Mech E to
allow the course to be taught using Pascal.  I think they use either Java
or Python now, but I haven't checked.

On the other hand, at UCB the intro course was called CS-40 "Introduction
to Computing" which was required of all Letters and Science Majors.   When
I helped to teach it in the early 80s as a grad student, we could only
handle a thousand students and turned away over another thousand [for a
required undergrad course].   We used Clancy and Cooper's "Oh Pascal" as
the text and the UCB pi interpreter on the 11/70s running a flavor of V7 /
2BSD.  Before I got there, they must have taught it on the CDC machine
using FTN, but I'm not sure.
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