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Back to Programming Languages, Part A

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Programming Languages, Part A by University of Washington

1,332 ratings
379 reviews

About the Course

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....

Top reviews


Dec 03, 2016

I'm just a beginner for CS or SE classes, and find this course really concise and challenging. It opens a door for me to get deeper into programming language. No wonder it got so high average score.


Mar 22, 2017

Great course!\n\nI think this course has just the right balance of theoretical background, formal definitions, and actual examples to make "just right".\n\nThanks Dan, and everybody else involved!

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226 - 250 of 378 Reviews for Programming Languages, Part A

By Claude J B

Feb 22, 2018

One of the best, and most challenging, courses on Coursera

By 刘宴先

Aug 20, 2017

Great materials. Very helpful for understanding Recursion.

By John M

Jun 18, 2020

I have learned more than I imagined. The professor rocks.

By João F d A J

Jan 04, 2020

i'm starting this course,and i love the main theme of it.

By Eisenhower R G

Nov 29, 2017

my instructor is a great person and is a excelent teacher

By GoForce5500

Oct 16, 2017


By Yixin G

Jul 27, 2017

Very Good. I am very excited to learn the next two parts.

By Wang Y

Jul 13, 2017

I think it's the most useful and interesting course here.

By walker

Sep 04, 2016

I learn many important programming language concepts here

By Erik D

Oct 04, 2018

A great course which shows functional concepts in depth.

By Vinay K G J

Jul 24, 2017

Very clearly explains the functional programming basics.

By mengmingliang

Jun 24, 2020

great course。functional programming is so interesting!

By KeyiDu

Feb 26, 2020

It is such a great course that offered in Mooc platform

By anton k

Jan 06, 2017

Most interesting and complex course I've ever attended.

By Raghu R

Apr 06, 2018

Great course... helps with building fundamentals of FP

By Luke L

Feb 14, 2017

An enjoyable course about programming language theory.

By Nha H

Jul 11, 2019

This course was excellent, exceeding my expectations.

By Giorgi L

Sep 02, 2017

Made me understand and appreciate lambdas much more.

By Eduardo C R

Nov 07, 2016

Genius. Marvelous. Astounding. I have no more words.

By Hushan J

Jun 23, 2017

really helpful for understanding PL fundamentals.

By Hector L

Aug 13, 2017

a good start for learning functional programming

By Grzegorz C

Jun 21, 2017

Brilliant course, thank you Dan Grossman et al!

By replper

Jan 27, 2017

A Great Course. Learned a lot from this course!

By Aleksey K

Jul 22, 2017

I like this course! it`s realy excelent thing!

By likai

Feb 19, 2017

It is so much fun . And I learn a lot from it.