Tom Schulte's Reviews > An Introduction to Functional Programming Through Lambda Calculus

An Introduction to Functional Programming Through Lambda Calc... by Greg Michaelson
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's review
Feb 14, 2012

really liked it
Read from February 14 to March 24, 2012

Probably, imperative programming is the inevitable professional path of the budding programmer that picks up this book. However, the career programmer can benefit from seeing how “the other half lives”. As one who has trained and hired software engineers over the years, I have seen that a mindset of iteration and conditional statements can often lead to inefficient designs. Someone with only an introductory knowledge of LISP or Haskell or general declarative principles as outlined here often can come up with more compact and efficient designs in object-oriented programming (OOP). The excellent chapter here on recursion highlights a key concept I find taught better through functional programming. I recommend that those serious about OOP read this as a “mind hack” to spark innovation and a fresh assessment of the tools at hand.

(Look for my full review to appear in MAA Reviews:
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02/12 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Adam (new) - added it

Adam Mokan Good points, Tom. For someone like myself who spent the better part of a dozen years in the OO world, I now find myself 100% in the functional world (Erlang) and its been a wake up call that makes me rethink decisions I have made in the past with software. I wish I had taken Haskell and Lisp much more seriously when I had the opportunities. Absolutely a required "mind hack" read as you mentioned for those that are even slightly interested in functional programming, which is seeping its way into most, if not all, "first class" languages today.

message 2: by Tom (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom Schulte Thanks, Adam! In my most recent round of school, I got to do constraint logic programming in ECLiPSe and it really got me thinking that even as an exercise moving the programming mind outside OO is good exercise for the programming mind.

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