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Re: Scheme as an introductory programming language

I'm responding rather late to your inquiry on Scheme use.

We use scheme and SICP in our first course here at Delaware.  We follow it
with a course which uses Modula2.  Together, they seem to provide a good
basis for the rest of the program.  We don't push extremely hard.  From,
Ableson and Sussman we cover the first 3 chapters, and introduce the
interpreter of chapter 4 in the last week.  Some of the students' mathematics
backgrounds are weak, but that has not been a major obsticle. Many take the
course concurrently with Calculus and that works fine.  The use of "big O"
and logs gives trouble too, but that is essential CS and we regard it as
our job to build a modicum of skill with those things.  Actually, I think
that scheme/lisp is much gentler in its mathematical demands on novices
than pascal.  It allows them to get to the essence of programming without
having to fight past artificial distinctions about types of numbers.
The students program in C-scheme on a vax.
-david saunders