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Learning to Program with Alice (w/ CD ROM)

Learning to Program with Alice (w/ CD ROM)

United States Edition
3rd Edition

Wanda Dann, Randy Pausch

Apr 2011, Paperback with CD-ROM, 384 pages
ISBN13: 9780132122474
ISBN10: 0132122472
For orders to USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Japan visit your local Pearson website
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Learning to Program with Alice, 3e is appropriate for all one-semester pre-CS1 and computer literacy courses, and for integration into the first weeks of many introductory CS1 courses.


Alice was designed to make programming concepts easier to teach and learn. In the Third Edition of Learning to Program with Alice, Alice’s creators offer a complete full-color introduction to the interactive Alice programming environment. The authors make extensive use of program visualization to establish an easy, intuitive relationship between program constructs and the 3D graphics animation action in Alice. Students discover how Alice blends traditional problem-solving techniques with Hollywood-style storyboarding. Fundamental object-oriented programming concepts and language syntax are taught independently. Programming concepts can be taught from either an objects-first or an objects-early approach, with an optional early introduction to events. The book’s Java-like syntax allows students to view their program code, simplifying their transitions to Java, C++, C#, or other object-oriented languages. This new edition includes over 60% revised exercises and a "sneak peek" at Alice 3.0.


Collection of Alice 3D “example worlds” on CD-ROM – Students can load an example world and enter their own code to make it work.

Foreword xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xxi

About the Authors xxiii

Part I: Introduction to Alice 1

1 Getting Started with Alice 3

1-1 Introduction to Alice 3

1-2 Alice Concepts 8

Tips & Techniques 1: Special Effects: Text and 2D Graphic Images 15

Summary 18

Exercises 19

2 Program Design and Implementation 22

2-1 Scenarios and Storyboards 22

2-2 A First Program 29

Tips & Techniques 2: Orientation and Movement Instructions 43

Summary 57

Exercises 59

3 Programming: Putting Together the Pieces 62

3-1 Built-in Functions and Expressions 63

3-2 Simple Control Structures 68

Tips & Techniques 3: Camera and Animation Controls 76

Summary 81

Exercises 83

Part II: Object-Oriented and Event-Driven Programming

Concepts 87

4 Classes, Objects, Methods and Parameters 89

4-1 World-Level Methods 91

4-2 Parameters 100

4-3 Object-Level Methods and Inheritance 110

Tips & Techniques 4: Visible and Invisible Objects 121

Summary 127

Exercises and Projects 129

5 Interaction: Events and Event Handling 140

5-1 Interactive Programming 140

5-2 Parameters and Event Handling Methods 147

Tips & Techniques 5: Creating Your Own People Models 156

Summary 158

Exercises and Projects 159

Part III: Using Functions and Control Statements 171

6 Functions and If/Else 173

6-1 Functions 173

6-2 Execution Control with If/Else and Boolean Functions 180

Tips & Techniques 6: Random Numbers and Random Motion 196

Summary 199

Exercises and Projects 201

7 Repetition: Definite and Conditional Loops 213

7-1 Loops 213

7-2 While—a Conditional Loop 219

Tips & Techniques 7: Events and Repetition 225

Summary 228

Exercises and Projects 229

8 Repetition: Recursion 239

8-1 Introduction to Recursion 239

8-2 Another Flavor of Recursion 244

Tips & Techniques 8: Engineering Look and Feel 254

Summary 257

Exercises and Projects 258

Part IV: Advanced Topics 265

9 Lists and List Processing 267

9-1 Lists 267

9-2 List Search 273

Tips & Techniques 9: Groups 277

Summary 279

Exercises and Projects 280

10 Variables and Revisiting Inheritance 289

10-1 Variables 289

10-2 An Array Visualization Using an Index Variable 300

Tips & Techniques 10: Debugging with Watch and Text Output 308

Summary 312

Exercises and Projects 313

11 What’s Next? 322

11-1 Transition to Java 322

11-2 Alice 3 327

Tips & Techniques 11: Poses 328

Appendix A: Using Alice 331

Part 1: Running Virtual Worlds in Alice 331

Part 2: Using Popup Menus to Create an Initial Scene 345

Appendix B: Managing the Alice Interface 350

Index 363

Easy, welcoming, approach to programming – Teaches programming using Alice, an innovative programming environment designed to simplify key concepts and welcome non-programmers. With 3D graphics and a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, Alice has been proven to help computer science departments improve student motivation and reduce attrition, especially amongst underrepresented groups. Using Alice and this book, far more students can successfully take the first step towards a career in software development.

Visual movie-style storyboarding simplifies program design – Demystifies complicated program design concepts by making program design completely visual, and providing instant visual feedback on the program changes that students make.

Fun, accessible, visual environment – Provides a 3D graphics-based, drag-and-drop programming environment that’s easy for novices to use, and rewards students immediately through visual animations they can instantly see and understand.

Separation of object-oriented concepts and program syntax – Enables instructors to teach objects and syntax separately, to choose among objects-first and objects-early approaches, and to teach events early if they wish.

Broad coverage of object-oriented, event-driven, and advanced programming concepts – Introduces students to a broad cross-section of the concepts and techniques contemporary programmers need to master, including classes, objects, methods, parameters, events, functions, control statements, list processing, inheritance, and more.

Focus on elegance, algorithmic thinking, and abstraction – Helps students quickly understand how successful programmers need to think.

Exercises and projects in every chapter – Includes comprehensive hands-on opportunities for students to test their knowledge and gain confidence in their abilities.

Support for easy 3D animation uploads via YouTube — Easy animation uploading is a powerful motivator to students, who can now show off their work on the Web. Coverage of camera controls, both during scene set-up and during run time of the animation.

Collection of Alice 3D “example worlds” on CD-ROM — Students can load an example world and enter their own code to make it work.

Extensive Instructor Materials Available - Access syllabi/calendars, lectures, labs, assignments, sample worlds, sample exams, sample projects, online support forums, and more.

Wanda Dann is the Director of the Alice Project and Associate Teaching Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research has encompassed program visualization and object-oriented and event-driven programming. She has published papers on the use of program visualization in computer science education for SIGCSE, the Computer Science Education Journal, and related publications. She has been co-PI for three NSF-funded projects. She is an active member of the ITiCSE Visualization Working Group, studying the effectiveness of visualization in computer science education. She has taken on a major leadership role in the international computer science education community, serving as SIGCSE 2004 Program co-Chair and SIGCSE 2005 Symposium co-Chair.

Stephen Cooper is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and the Director for the Center for Visualization at Saint Joseph's University.¿He taught previously at Rivier College, serving as Computer Science program director. He has also worked at IBM as a systems programmer. Dr. Cooper's research interests lie in the semantics of programming languages as well as in program visualization. He is the author or co-author of a dozen articles, and has been the principal investigator for several National Science Foundation and private grants.


Randy Pausch was a Professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction and Design at Carnegie Mellon, and co-founder of the Entertainment Technology Center. He also served as the Director of Carnegie Mellon's Alice research group, where he oversaw the development of Alice. He was a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator and a Lilly Foundation Teaching Fellow. In 1995, he spent a Sabbatical with the Walt Disney Imagineering Virtual Reality Studio and consulted with Imagineering on interactive theme park attractions, particularly for the "DisneyQuest" virtual-reality based theme park. Dr. Pausch authored or co-authored five books and over 60 reviewed journal and conference proceedings articles, and his primary interests were human-computer interaction, entertainment technology and undergraduate education.