Computer Science Principles: The Foundational Concepts of Computer Science

[SECOND EDITION AVAILABLE] For AP ® Computer Science Principles: Computer Science is the fastest growing field in the World and there are no signs of slowing. Just because this is a relatively new field of study, it should not be scary to learn or thought to be too difficult to understand. Anyone who has ever turned on a phone or surfed the Internet should have a basic understanding of what happens when the mouse is clicked or the screen is touched (and how fast it happens!). How does a simple process convert to 1’s and 0’s and travel thousands of miles in a blink of the eye? What is an IP address? What do IP/TCP, DNS, HTML, and CSS stand for? How do large movies and thousands of songs all fit onto a hard drive? How can secrets be sent in plain sight? These questions are answered in Computer Science Principles: The Foundational Concepts of Computer Science, plus spreadsheets, photo-editing, web-design (HTML and CSS), learning to code with JavaScript, and more!

Users Comments:

  • I’ll caveat this by saying I’m only half way through the book and am reading this as a hobbyist (not an AP student).
    The flow and concepts are a little all over the place – for example, I’m not sure what the point of having units (chapters) devoted to Microsoft Excel and Adobe Photoshop was, or why those chapters came before other, more fundamental chapters (i.e. storage, compression and the Internet)? … Didn’t seem to seem logical to me.
    I would also suggest that the publisher, Yellow Dart do some serious proofreading for the second edition. The book is littered with grammatical errors that often make the author’s point unclear. I’m certainly no grammar / spelling expert, but it doesn’t seem like anyone even read through the entire book to catch mistakes – there’s just so many.
    Overall, I still find it helpful / informative and will finish reading.
  • I’ve been a professional software developer for over 3 decades. I got this book for my 10th-grader who is planning to take the AP CSP exam in a few months. I am very disappointed with the book.
    * The author needs an editor and proofreader, any decent english teacher would have a field day with their red pen on this book.
    * A typical page has paragraphs that ramble off track and statements that over-simplify and misconstrue.
    I generally support independent authors and self-publishing but not when the content is an inaccurate and excessively verbose survey of a topic where details are critical.
    Caveat emptor.
  • Content is good but frustrating to read considering it was obviously not proofread before being released. I found atleast 3 errors per page, which is by far the worst I’ve ever came across. I feel like this book was rushed out to make a profit… shame because the concepts are solid and it could have been so much better if you could read it without constantly having to stop and figure out what the author was meaning to say… I dont like giving such a low rating but found that the overall rating on amazon was way to high for such a low quality almost unreadable book…
  • My main problem with the book is not that the content itself is bad or inaccurate, but instead that there are grammatical errors everywhere, and the author doesn’t seem to understand how to structure a sentence properly. The number of positive reviews here leads me to believe that either younger readers (for whom the book is intended) somehow glossed over the errors, or that this book was self-published and the author has enlisted friends and family to inflate review scores. A quick Google search for yellow dart publishing returns nothing, and the provided publisher address is for a residential home, so I’m inclined to believe my latter suspicion is true. There is a reason that well-written textbooks from reputable publishers cost more than $10, and this particular book does nothing to break that mold. Furthermore, I’m saddened by the thought that the author is most likely a teacher somewhere, who requires his students buy his own book as reference material for his class.
  • This book seems to be a glorified glossary of sorts. Each chapter is structured with bold-face headers (e.g. in the Internet Chapter, there’s Network, Internet, IP, etc) but each definition does not offer thorough explanations to how each system works, nor does it relate each system with each other to paint the larger picture (as is necessary when discussing the internet).
    The javascript class simply teaches basic keywords in javascript. It does not cover how to write programs, how to problem solve, or even how to use javascript in the context of HTML/CSS (which is covered in a previous chapter, albeit using Dreamweaver). No sample projects and no project ideas are provided.
    Units 9 and 10, which cover the AP Explore and AP Create Task, are nothing more (literally, nothing more) than a transcription of the Task Guidelines taken directly from the AP CSP Course Description. No tips are provided. Nothing is provided that you couldn’t get off the internet for free in pdf format. Furthermore, these Explore and Create task details are subject to change (and they do change), so it’s likely that those sections will be obsolete, and soon.
    However, the most offensive part about this book is its lack of mention of abstractions and algorithms, arguably two of the MOST important concepts in computer science, and two concepts that are heavily tested on the AP exam. I mean, there’s an entire section of the AP Create task dedicated to identifying abstractions and algorithms within your code.
    Also, keep in mind that this book does not include any practice questions (or any questions at all). This book will NOT help you, your student, or your child score a 5 on the AP exam – maybe a 2, at best. I certainly will not be recommending it to my students nor other teachers in my network. I legitimately feel sorry for the students of this teacher as it seems like he is jumping on the CSP hype train to make a quick buck while there are a lack of quality resources out there.
    I will be returning my book and I urge you to do the same if you are not satisfied like I am.

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