|Author||Harold Abelson, Gerald Jay Sussman, Julie Sussman|
|ISBN||0-262-51087-1 (2nd ed.)|
|LC Class||QA76.6 .A255 1996|
Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (SICP) is a computer science textbook by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors Harold Abelson and Gerald Jay Sussman with Julie Sussman. It is known as the "Wizard Book" in hacker culture. It teaches fundamental principles of computer programming, including recursion, abstraction, modularity, and programming language design and implementation.
MIT Press published the first edition in 1984, and the second edition in 1996. It was formerly used as the textbook for MIT's introductory course in computer science. SICP focuses on discovering general patterns for solving specific problems, and building software systems that make use of those patterns.
The book describes computer science concepts using Scheme, a dialect of Lisp. It also uses a virtual register machine and assembler to implement Lisp interpreters and compilers.
Topics in the books are:
Several fictional characters appear in the book:
The book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license.
Byte recommended SICP in 1986 "for professional programmers who are really interested in their profession". The magazine said that the book was not easy to read, but that it would expose experienced programmers to both old and new topics.
SICP has been influential in computer science education, and several later books have been inspired by its style.
I talked to Professor Sussman on the phone... He said that he'd actually been trying to have 6.001 replaced for the last ten years (and I read somewhere that Professor Abelson was behind the move too). Understanding the principles is not essential for an introduction to the subject matter anymore. He sees 6.001 as obsolete.