Lisp is a high-level programming language originally created as a practical mathematical notation for computer programs. But it quickly became the favored programming language for artificial intelligence (AI). The name LISP derives from LISt Processor. John McCarthy developed Lisp in 1958 at MIT. LISP was founded on the mathematical theory of recursive functions. Information Processing Language was the first AI language, from 1955 or 1956, and already included many of the concepts, such as list-processing and recursion, which came to be used in Lisp. Lisp was first implemented by Steve Russell on an IBM 704 computer using punched cards. The first complete Lisp compiler, written in Lisp, was implemented in 1962 by Tim Hart and Mike Levin at MIT.
LISP uses simple notation in which operations and their operands are given in a parenthesized list. In LISP expressions are called symbolic expressions or s-expressions. These s-expressions are composed of atoms, lists, and strings. LISP programs are made up of three basic building blocks, atom, list, string.
An atom is a number or string of numbers, characters, and special characters.
A list is a sequence of atoms or other lists enclosed in parenthesis.
A string is a group of characters enclosed in double quotation marks.
To add comments a Semicon (;) symbol can be used.