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LouvainX: Paradigms of Computer Programming – Fundamentals

This course covers functional, object-oriented, and declarative dataflow programming in a unified framework, with practical code fragments and a simple semantics.
6 weeks
4–6 hours per week
Instructor-led on a course schedule
This course is archived

About this course

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Louv1.1x and Louv1.2x together give an introduction to all major programming concepts, techniques, and paradigms in a unified framework. We cover the three main programming paradigms: functional, object-oriented, and declarative dataflow.

The two courses are targeted toward people with a basic knowledge of programming. It will be most useful to beginning programming students, but the unconventional approach should be insightful even to seasoned professionals.

Louv1.1x covers fundamental concepts. You’ll learn functional programming, its techniques and its data structures. You’ll use simple formal semantics for all concepts, and see those concepts illustrated with practical code that runs on the accompanying open-source platform, the Mozart Programming System.

Louv1.2x covers data abstraction, state, and concurrency. You’ll learn the four ways to do data abstraction and discuss the trade-offs between objects and abstract data types. You’ll be exposed to deterministic dataflow, the most useful paradigm for concurrent programming, and learn how it avoids race conditions.

To learn more about the practical organization of the two courses, watch the introductory video.

At a glance

  • Institution: LouvainX
  • Subject: Computer Science
  • Level: Advanced
  • Prerequisites:

    Basic knowledge of programming in at least one programming language. For the semantics, basic knowledge of mathematical concepts such as sets, lists, and functions.

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills: Deterministic Methods, Computer Programming, Data Structures, Object-Oriented Programming (OOP), Abstract Data Types, Functional Programming, Programming Concepts, Data Abstraction, Concurrent Computing

What you'll learn

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  • How to specify problems, break them down into their basic steps, and design algorithms and abstractions to solve them
  • How to choose the right programming paradigm and write a program in this paradigm to solve a problem
  • How to use formal semantics to reason about program correctness
  • How to write small concurrent programs in the deterministic dataflow paradigm


Learner testimonials

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This is an excellent and unique introduction to programming. Peter Van Roy avoids focusing on the syntax of a particular language or a particular programming style. Instead he provides the concepts needed to deeply understand what is going on and the techniques to correctly program. One way he does this is by pointing out that different programming paradigms will be appropriate for different problems. (a learner on CourseTalk)

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