Sharon H. Nelson

Problem Solving & Computer Programming

(with Peter Grogono)

Addison Wesley: Reading, Mass., 1982; Kindai Kagaku Sha: Tokyo, 1985; Narosa: New Delhi, 1987. 284 pp.

A few quotes from the Preface suggest some of the parallels among problem solving, computer programming, and poetry.

The problem-solving approach to computer programming emphasizes the conceptual nature of programming, the numerous ways of obtaining insight into programming problems, and the distinction between a high-level algorithmic solution and a low-level implementation of that solution.

The discipline that has contributed most to problem solving is mathematics. This is not surprising; successful problem solving requires a high level of abstraction, the elimination of superfluous details, and appropriate notations. . . .Although technical skill in formal mathematics is not a prerequisite for programming, it is undoubtedly very useful, and for advanced programming the mathematician's concern with abstraction and precision is essential.

Sharon H. Nelson. 15 March 1999.