Computer Laboratory

Course pages 2016–17

Advanced Functional Programming

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Preparation

(See also Exercise 0 on the assessment page.)

If you haven't used a typed functional language before then it would be wise to familiarize yourself with the basics before the course starts. We'll be using OCaml in the course, and recommend starting with either of the following books:

  • OCaml from the Very Beginning
    John Whitington
    Available in print, or as a PDF ($14.99)
  • Real World OCaml
    Yaron Minsky, Anil Madhavapeddy, Jason Hickey
    Available in print, or online. Chapters 1 to 6 give enough background for this course.

There is a mailing list for the course: [Javascript required].

The OCaml Beginners mailing list is also a useful resource.

The first few lectures are quite theory oriented: we'll be looking at various typed lambda calculi, along with type inference in ML-family languages. If you haven't studied the lambda calculus before then some background reading is likely to make these lectures much easier to follow. There are many introductions available; one which fits well with our approach is

  • Types and Programming Languages
    Benjamin C. Pierce
    There are copies in the Computer Laboratory library and many of the college libraries.

The material in chapters 5 (The Untyped Lambda-Calculus) and 9 (Simply Typed Lambda-Calculus) is essential. We'll also be covering material from later chapters (11, 23, 24, 29, 30), although in much less detail than Pierce.

Additionally, the Part II (third year undergraduate) Types course is a less-advanced course covering ML, System F and the Curry-Howard correspondence.

Tools

Installing the tools beforehand will also make things easier when the course starts.

The OPAM package manager is the recommended way to install OCaml.

We will be using System Fω in the course to illustrate theoretical aspects of functional programming. We have provided an Fω interpreter (based on the interpreters by Pierce for the "Types and Programming Languages" book) so you can try out the examples.

The interpreter can be installed using OPAM with the following instructions:

    $ opam remote add advanced-fp git://github.com/ocamllabs/advanced-fp-repo
    $ opam install fomega

The interpreter can also be used directly in the browser.

Lecture schedule

Thursday 19 January 2017 (12pm, FS07)
Introduction. The lambda calculus
Jeremy Yallop
Slides
Lecture notes
Monday 23 January 2017 (12pm, FS07)
The lambda calculus (continued)
Jeremy Yallop
Slides
Lecture notes: see notes for 19 January
Thursday 26 January 2017 (12pm, FS07)
Type inference
Jeremy Yallop
Slides
Lecture notes
Online notebook
Monday 30 January 2017 (12pm, FS07)
The Curry-Howard correspondence
Neel Krishnaswami
Slides
Recommended additional reading: Propositions as Types (Philip Wadler, 2015)
Further reading: Lectures on the Curry-Howard isomorphism (Morten Heine B. Sørensen and Paweł Urzyczyn, 1998)
Thursday 2 February 2017 (12pm, FS07)
Abstraction and parametricity
Leo White
Slides
Lecture notes
Monday 6 February 2017 (12pm, FS07)
Abstraction and parametricity
Leo White
Slides: see slides for 2 February
Lecture notes: see notes for 2 February
Thursday 9 February 2017 (12pm, FS07)
Abstraction and parametricity
Leo White
Slides
Lecture notes
Monday 13 February 2017 (12pm, FS07)
Generalized algebraic data types (GADTs)
Jeremy Yallop
Slides
Lecture notes
Online notebook with code from the lecture
Thursday 16 February 2017 (12pm, FS07)
GADTs (continued); Application: a typed foreign function interface
Jeremy Yallop
Slides (GADTs)
Slides (foreign functions)
Lecture notes: see notes for 13 February
Online notebook
Further reading: A modular foreign function interface
Monday 20 February 2017 (12pm, FS07)
Modular implicits
Jeremy Yallop
Slides
Online notebook with code from the lecture
The following commands install a compiler with modular implicits support:
  opam switch 4.02.0+modular-implicits
  eval $(opam config env)
Further reading: Modular implicits
Thursday 23 February 2017 (12pm, FS07)
Monads etc.
Jeremy Yallop
Slides
Lecture notes
Monday 27 February 2017 (12pm, FS07)
Generic programming
Jeremy Yallop
Slides
Online notebook
Thursday 2 March 2017 (12pm, FS07)
Monads etc. (continued)
Slides
Lecture notes: see notes for 23 February
Jeremy Yallop
Monday 6 March 2017 (12pm, FS07)
Effects, concluded; Staging
Slides (effects)
Slides (staging)
Online notebook (staging)
Jeremy Yallop
Thursday 9 March 2017 (12pm, FS07)
Staging (continued)
Slides
Jeremy Yallop
Monday 13 March 2017 (12pm, FS07)
Super-advanced functional programming
Dominic Mulligan
Slides
Agda code