C9 Lectures: Dr. Erik Meijer - Functional Programming Fundamentals, Chapter 1 of 13

Welcome to a new technical series on Channel 9 folded into a different kind of 9 format: C9 Lectures. These are what you think they are, lectures. They are not conversational in nature (like most of what you're used to on 9), but rather these pieces are entirely focused on education, coming to you in the form of a series of high quality technical lectures (1 or more per topic) on a single topic.

We kick off C9 Lectures with a journey into the world of Functional Programming with functional language purist and high priest of the lambda calculus, Dr. Erik Meijer (you can thank Erik for many of the functional constructs that have shown up in languages like C# and VB.NET. When you use LINQ, thank Erik in addition to Anders).

Lecture Context:

Over the past two years, you've learned a fair amount about the functional programming paradigm's foray into general purpose imperative progamming languages (LINQ, Lambda's, etc in C# and VB.NET). And, of course, the newest language to join the Visual Studio family of languages, F#, is a functional language. You've heard us say how important functional language constructs are to the our current languages' capabilities to evolve in the right direction to meet the needs of the many-core future (the need for reliable and comprehensible concurrency, parallelism, etc) and, most importantly, to help vault computer programming into an age of compositionality (remember our talks on 9 regarding composability and evolution of software engineering as an engineering discipline?). Well, we decided to take a step back and teach you the fundamentals of functional programming at a level equivalent to any university. We even have a text book and professor who will expand our minds.

Dr. Erik Meijer will teach us Functional Programming Fundamentals using Haskell as the language for understanding the basic functional principles (in fact, the specific language isn't all that important, but Haskell is a pure functional language so it is entirely appropriate for learning the essential ingredients of functional programming. It is also a relatively small language and should be easy for you to get up to speed with Haskell once you understand the Why, What and How that underlies all functional languages...).

In Chapter 1, Dr. Meijer takes us through the fundamental fundamentals of functional programming: The philosophy and history of functional programming. As you can imagine, these lectures will go deeper and deeper as the chapters progress, but you need to understand the philosophical and historical contexts. This will provide a nice layer of fresh conceptual soil in which to plant the seeds of understanding the technical details of functional programming, of functional reasoning.

Welcome to C9 Lectures. Enjoy and learn, learn, learn.

ALWAYS ask questions right here. Erik will answer them. Remember, he is professor Erik Meijer in this context and professors answer the questions of their students. Thank you, Erik, for doing this!

Welcome to C9 Lectures!

See the rest of this great series:

Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13