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The most fun computer science related projects I've found are (1) learning new languages and (2) writing new languages.

For (1), I picked up the book Seven Languages in Seven Weeks[0] and learned to write (really basic) Ruby, Io, Erlang, Prolog, Scala, Clojure and Haskell. I didn't write anything great, but it was a lot of fun to play with new ideas.

For (2) I decided a couple of weeks ago to implement my own Lisp[1]. I know almost nothing about Lisp and so I'm making a lot of mistakes and re-inventing the wheel a lot, but having a language whose syntax or semantics is changeable on a whim is just so much fun. Want a syntax for function literals? You can add it. Always thought that hashmaps should be a special case of functions? You can add that too. I can't recommend this enough as a way to rekindle your interest in computer science. I'm going to work on the language in my spare time for a couple more weeks, and then try to write a compiler for it. I've never written a compiler before (I was a math major, not computer science). I have no idea how you do it. But I'm pretty certain it's going to be fun.

[0] http://www.amazon.co.uk/Seven-Languages-Weeks-Programming-Pr...

[1]https://github.com/chris-taylor/Haskeme




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