Predictions for the Semester

I think it’s obvious that the set of books I bought last night should be enough to predict how each of my classes this semester will be, before actually going to any of those classes. So, here goes.

Compiling and Programming Systems [Graduate level]

  • Modern Compiler Implementation in ML (Appel)
  • Advanced Compiler Design and Implementation (Muchnick)
  • Engineering a Compiler (Cooper and Torczon)
  • Elements of ML Programming (Ullman)

Three hardcover textbooks, and the other’s cover is filled with awful puns. Two of the books mention ML in the title, a programming language I’ve only heard of. Plus, this is a graduate-level course. Verdict: difficult.

Numerical Analysis

  • Elementary Numerical Computing with Mathematica (Stipes)

Enough said. Verdict: not fun at all.

Programming Languages

No books for this were listed at the bookstore. Verdict: will find out it’s been cancelled on the first day of class.

History of Science and Technology

  • The Earth Encompassed (Bowler)
  • Ecological Legacy (Orr)
  • ???

Three paperback books, one of which, according to my roommate, who’s taken this class before, has long since been out of print. Furthermore, he hates the Orr book with a passion. However, the overall set of books seems typical of that of the history classes I’ve taken so far. Verdict: moderate.

Music Appreciation

  • Music: An Appreciation (Kamien)

A book with lots of color pictures and a set of CDs. Verdict: easy.

2 Responses

  1. A little update: every semester, there’s usually one class that’s an absolute pain to get the books for. My history class is shaping up to be that class this semester. It turns out there’s a fourth book I need, which the bookstores are aware of but don’t seem to have bothered to actually *stock*. This is on top of the one that’s apparently been out of print for over a year. The Internet can probably get me the first book. For the second, I may well need to con(vince) my roommate to ship his copy from back home so I can use it.

  2. Another update: in an interesting twist, the text for Programming Languages is a preprint of the yet-to-be-published second edition of the book. We each get a free copy of it. Yay! This makes Programming Languages the only class with zero out-of-pocket expenses for books.

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