CSCI 276 LISP as a Second Language

Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D.

Welcome to LISP as a Second Language.  This is the homepage for the course.  LISP is a language originally developed by John McCarthy in the 1950's.  Although LISP is primarily an interpretive language,  there are LISP compilers which produce either machine reduced code or actual machine code.  Also,  several LISP machines were developed by the MIT community which direcdtly supported the LISP language.  The LISP language has evoloved over the years to produce several common variants such as Interlisp,  Scheme,  and Common Lisp which have produced language standards and a significant user community.  Further,  LISP has grown to include many familiar contemporary features such as classes and objects.  This is particualrly easy for LISP as the language is explicitly extensible by the application developer.  Today,  the LISP community loudly argues that LISP is just as much a valid language for application development as is Java.  While LISP is the darling of much of the Artificial Intelligence community,  it is also a rich,  powerful,  and reasonably efficient language for general program development. 

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