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Do Extraterrestrials Use Functional Programming?

YOW! Lambda Jam 2013

Is functional programming just the result of clever language design? Are there deeper reasons for the effectiveness of the paradigm? Why has functional programming not caught on earlier?

In this talk, we will have a look at the roots of functional programming, at their contribution to the success of the paradigm, and at the lessons we can draw to maximise the benefit we derive from functional languages. I will argue that the core of functional programming is a principled approach to software design compatible with both rigorous and agile methods of software development. It stems from a desire for purity, composability, and elegant logical properties, and I will outline how to leverage these ideas to solve practical programming problems.

Manuel Chakravarty

Lambda Scientist

Tweag I/O & IOHK


Manuel M T Chakravarty works with Tweag I/O as a functional programming evangelist, architects blockchain languages at IOHK, and develops the interactive development environment Haskell for Mac — one of the first Swift apps on the Mac App Store. His interests span from functional programming, novel compiler technology & programming language theory over high-performance & distributed computing to blockchain technology. 

He used to be an associate professor at UNSW Sydney and contributed to both the design and implementation of the Haskell programming language as well as several Haskell tools and open source libraries, including multiple systems for data parallel programming of multicore CPUs and GPUs. Over the last few years, he focused on making functional programming more broadly accessible and on exploring its role in app development in Swift. Currently, he is busy researching and developing a novel approach to blockchain contract development with IOHK's Plutus Team. Most importantly, he believes in the fruitful combination of theory and practice.