Thread: anyone ever heard of symbolic programming

  1. #1

    anyone ever heard of symbolic programming

    ive been brousing computer science classes and heres the descripiton of one I found:

    Refer to computer science service course restrictions.
    Fourteen hours of laboratory/lecture/discussion per week
    for eight weeks. Prerequisites: High school algebra.
    Introduction to computer programming, emphasizing
    symbolic computation and functional programming style.
    Students will write a project of at least 200 lines of code,
    using the Scheme programming language.

    Ive had High school algebra but anyone have any clue as to what "Introduction to computer programming, emphasizing
    symbolic computation and functional programming style." means. I know almost all of the C++ language and I've also learned a bit of windows api, MFC, IO(a very little bit), direct X, and allegro for more information about the course go to the course is called intro to Symbolic programming.

  2. #2
    Fingerstyle Guitarist taylorguitarman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    I took a class in LISP and it was rather interesting. (Scheme is a dialect of LISP) It's a totally different way of thinking than with C++ but has a lot of cool features to it. It's kind of confusing at first because it uses a lot of (). It's commonly used for AI programming and such. Makes some things that are very difficult in C++ very easy. It's actually been around for a long time.

    These might be useful
    A programming guide-

    The website-
    If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to see it, do the other trees make fun of it?

  3. #3
    Budding Synth Programmer samGwilliam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    LISP is rather good. A totally different paradigm to C. No loop construct. Heavy reliance on recursion. 'list' being the only data type. I also like PROLOG.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Groningen (NL)
    Symbolic programming is in many cases doing math with a computer using symbols. In a computer algebra program like Maple, you can perform mathematical calculations by using symbols. In non-symbolic programming you use variables which represent values, in symbolic programming a variable doesn't need to represent a value.

    If you, in symbolic programming, for example have a simple equation like:

    eq := a x^2 + b x + c = 0;

    Then doing something like:

    solve (eq, x);

    Would lead to:

    x1 = (-b + sqrt (b^2 - 4 a c)) / 2 a
    x2 = (-b - sqrt (b^2 - 4 a c)) / 2 a

    So using a symbolic programming language to do math, is just the same as you would do math on paper.

    BTW, Lisp is, as far as I know, not symbolic programming. It is functional programming. Just like Haskell. Functional programming means programming with functions, in C we use variables which we pass to functions. For example Fibonacci in Haskell:

    fib 0        = 0                            
    fib 1        = 1                            
    fib (n+2) = fib n + fib (n+1)
    Or a function to compute which variable of two is smallest:

    smaller :: (Integer, Integer) -> Integer
    smaller (x,y) = if x <= y then x else y
    So determining which of two Fibonacci nummer is smallest would be:

    small_fib = (Integer, Integer) -> Integer
    small_fib = smaller (fib (x), fib (y))
    Last edited by Shiro; 02-18-2002 at 12:35 PM.

Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-01-2009, 07:54 PM
  2. Symbolic vs Descriptive
    By audinue in forum A Brief History of
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 12-10-2008, 05:26 PM
  3. Ever heard of a Grapple? (No, not for scaling buildings.)
    By LuckY in forum A Brief History of
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-24-2006, 03:53 PM
  4. Going out of scope
    By nickname_changed in forum C++ Programming
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-12-2003, 06:27 PM
  5. Symbolic Constants??
    By ACAC in forum C++ Programming
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-29-2001, 06:09 PM