Ganesh Gopalakrishnan is a professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Utah.
I have taught formal languages and automata theory for decades, and I have seen many, perhaps most, students struggle with the material because it is so abstract. I've often thought that computer science students would learn it better by programming it. Indeed, that's how I really learned these topics -- by implementing constructions directly in practical compiler generation and formal verification tools to do my research. Prof. Gopalakrishnan's approach is to have students learn by doing, while still going into greater depth than some purely pencil-and-paper courses. -Prof. David L. Dill, Donald E. Knuth Professor, Emeritus, in the School of Engineering, Stanford University It is probably a safe assumption to make these days that many, if not most, computer science undergraduates have had programming experience, but few of them know the language of mathematics. Professor Gopalakrishnan's book builds on the student's experience in programming and animates the theory of automata, formal languages, and computability with actual programs which the student can easily modify and play with. Doing is the best way of learning. This book should enable the typical computer science student to acquire a more visceral, and therefore in the long more useful, understanding of the theory. -Dr. Ching-Tsun Chou, Silicon Architecture Engineer, Intel Corporation