Free Computer Science Textbooks

It only makes sense that authors of computing textbooks and educational materials would embrace the World Wide Web. The ironic part is that many of us share tips and techniques but do not actually sit down and write a complete text. Students exploring particular topics may come to find that there are free online resource sites that cover far more material than a textbook could ever hope to. One great example, of a truly comprehensive web-based resource, is the World Wide Web Consortium’s website and their coverage of HTML and CSS.

That said, I suspect that the Computer Science textbook category is going to grow virtually exponentially once I get the time to search out for more materials. I suspect I could spend weeks just hunting online texts for this category and not even come close to finding all the great stuff available on the Internet. As this category grows, I will create sub-categories to make things easier to find. When I get done, I hope to have sections on commonly used Internet programming languages, robotics, artificial intelligence and all the other great fields of study that fall under the realm of Computer Science.

There’s only a few computer science textbooks listed here now but I plan to change that as soon as possible.

List of Free Computer Science Textbooks

A Course in Machine Learning

Written by: Hal Daumé III

A Course in Machine Learning offers an introduction to the field of machine learning that focuses more on ideas and models and less on math.

A Field Guide to Genetic Programming

Written by: Riccardo Poli (University of Essex), William B. Langdon(University of Essex), Nicholas F. McPhee (University of Minnesota, Morris) and with contributions from John R. Koza (Stanford University).

Students and those just interested in learning more on the topic will find this genetic programming textbook a great place to start.

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python

Written by: Al Sweigart

A Python programming guide designed for those folks who need to automate simple tasks but who do not want or need to become professional programmers.

Database Systems for Management

Written by: James F. Courtney, David B. Paradice, Kristen L. Brewer and Julia C. Graham

Database systems, an online textbook published in 2010 by James F. Courtney, David B. Paradice, Kristen L. Brewer and Julia C. Graham.

Foundations of Computation

Written by: Carol Critchlow and David Eck from Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Free online theoretical computer science textbook from two professors at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Topics in discrete math and theoretical CS.

Fundamentals of Computer Graphics with Java, OpenGL and Jogl

Written by: David J. Eck (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)

Computer Science textbook for advanced undergrads – Fundamentals of Computer Graphics with Java, OpenGL and Jogl. Previous Java programming required.

History and Comparison of Programming Languages

Written by: Dennie Van Tassel (Gavilan College)

Historical look at the evolution of programming language and their commonalities based upon the common statements and their construction, i.e. loops, etc.

How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python 3

Written by: Peter Wentworth, Jeffrey Elkner, Allen B. Downey, and Chris Meyers

How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python 3; a unique text authored by a college professor, a high school teacher and a programming pro.

Innovation Happens Elsewhere: Open Source as Business Strategy

Written by: Ron Goldman & Richard P. Gabriel

Innovation Happens Elsewhere: Open Source as a Business Strategy is a must read textbook for anyone conducting software development. Good thing it’s free.

Internet Super-User Textbook

Written by: Marsha Du Toit, Anna Malczyk and Jean-Paul Van Belle

Learn to be an Internet super user with this free online textbook. Written in 2011, it still offers useful information on using the Internet.

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