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Delft University of Technology

Introduction to Functional Programming

Delft University of Technology via edX


Broadly speaking, functional programming is a style of programming in which the primary method of computation is the application of functions to arguments. Among other features, functional languages offer a compact notation for writing programs, powerful abstraction methods for structuring programs, and a simple mathematical basis that supports reasoning about programs.

Functional languages represent the leading edge of programming language design, and the primary setting in which new programming concepts are introduced and studied. All contemporary programming languages such as Hack/PHP, C#, Visual Basic, F#, C++, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, Java, Scala, Clojure, Groovy, Racket, … support higher-order programming via the concept of closures or lambda expressions.

This course will use Haskell as the medium for understanding the basic principles of functional programming. While the specific language isn't all that important, Haskell is a pure functional language so it is entirely appropriate for learning the essential ingredients of programming using mathematical functions. It is also a relatively small language, and hence it should be easy for you to get up to speed with Haskell.

Once you understand the Why, What and How that underlies pure functional programming and learned to “think like a fundamentalist”, we will apply the concepts of functional programming to “code like a hacker” in mainstream programming languages, using Facebook’s novel Hack language as our main example. This course assumes no prior knowledge of functional programming, but assumes you have at least one year of programming experience in a regular programming language such as Java, .NET, Javascript or PHP.

The course materials of this course are Copyright Delft University of Technology and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA) 4.0 International License.

Taught by

Erik Meijer


4.2 rating, based on 11 Class Central reviews

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  • Anonymous
    First you have to understand that this course is not about Haskell - indeed it seems as if Erik not only dropped Microsoft but all his former passion for pure FP and Haskell. But this would not be the problem - the course is about FP and that would…
  • Wei En
    FP101x has excellent exercises, labs and lectures. Prof. Erik Meijer has done a great job of going through the material in this course. Overall I found the course instrumental to improving my understanding of functional programming. On the other ha…
  • Anonymous
    This is a fun course on the basics of Functional Programming, primarily using Haskell. I'm liking it. Eric Meijer is an engaging lecturer (sort of endearingly awkward) and the quizzes and homework are excellent. It's challenging without being super…
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