In this course you will discover the elements of the functional programming style and learn how to apply them usefully in your daily programming tasks. You will also develop a solid foundation for reasoning about functional programs, by touching upon proofs of invariants and the tracing of execution symbolically.
The course is hands on; most units introduce short programs that serve as illustrations of important concepts and invite you to play with them, modifying and improving them. The course is complemented by a series programming projects as homework assignments.
Learning Outcomes. By the end of this course you will be able to:
- understand the principles of functional programming,
- write purely functional programs, using recursion,
pattern matching, and higher-order functions,
- combine functional programming with objects and classes,
- design immutable data structures,
- reason about properties of functions,
- understand generic types for functional programs
Getting Started + Functions & Evaluation Get up and running with Scala on your computer. Complete an example assignment to familiarize yourself with our unique way of submitting assignments. In this week, we'll learn the difference between functional imperative programming. We step through the basics of Scala; covering expressions, evaluation, conditionals, functions, and recursion
Higher Order Functions This week, we'll learn about functions as first-class values, and higher order functions. We'll also learn about Scala's syntax and how it's formally defined. Finally, we'll learn about methods, classes, and data abstraction through the design of a data structure for rational numbers.
Data and Abstraction This week, we'll cover traits, and we'll learn how to organize classes into hierarchies. We'll cover the hierarchy of standard Scala types, and see how to organize classes and traits into packages. Finally, we'll touch upon the different sorts of polymorphism in Scala.
Types and Pattern Matching This week we'll learn about the relationship between functions and objects in Scala; functions *are* objects! We'll zoom in on Scala's type system, covering subtyping and generics, and moving on to more advanced aspects of Scala's type system like variance. Finally, we'll cover Scala's most widely used data structure, Lists, and one of Scala's most powerful tools, pattern matching.
Lists This week we dive into Lists, the most commonly-used data structure in Scala.
Collections After a deep-dive into Lists, this week we'll explore other data structures; vectors, maps, ranges, arrays, and more. We'll dive into Scala's powerful and flexible for-comprehensions for querying data.
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These arefree online courses from universities around the world (eg. StanfordHarvardMIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you. They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.
Mark Wilburcompleted this course and found the course difficulty to be hard.
This course assumed no background in Scala. It was a self-contained course involving some hard problems. I had plenty of headaches while working on the homework assignments, but not once did I run into a problem related to environment set-up or unspoken pre-requisites. I wish all Coursera classes were like this! Though the instructor (who happens to be the creator of Scala) did make references to Java, no background in Java was necessary for the class. I suspect it was a class that was very hard for different students in different ways. While I probably found the functional aspects a lot easier than some students coming from pure OO backgrounds, the type-system was mind-bending for me! The only statically-typed language I’d used before was C and Scala’s type system sure is a lot more complex
The programming assignments complement the course material and are much harder than your typical MOOC assignments. A single assignment can easily take anywhere from 5 to 10 hours. It does not appear to be a watered-down version of the course taught at EPFL and looks like the real deal.
This is not a beginner level course and is not meant as a first introduction to programming. It expects students to have at least one year programming experience. It is a hectic course which will keep you engaged throughout. I would recommend it for everyone serious about Computer Science.
This class was excellent. This was my first attempt at learning functional programming after having spent the past 13 years doing OO programming and the 3 years before that doing procedural programming and it was much more challenging than I expected. Thanks to this class I have rethought the entire way I approach programming and I feel like I am much more effective because of it. Keep up the wonderful work at Coursera and EPFL! Your efforts are most certainly appreciated!
This course is not for beginners and I would say it is not even suitable for some intermediate programmers. There isn't a sufficiently good introduction to recursion, which makes the exercise problems very hard for anyone new to the idea. While the course assumes little prior knowledge of programming, I feel only people with some experience in functional programming will feel at home attempting the problems.
An excellent course. Very much appreciated the simple to install and use Eclipse environment and sbt tool. The classes were very clear and the exercises extremely well described. I struggled on this course, Functional Programming is quite a paradigm shift for me - really glad I made the effort. Looking forward to a future course from Dr Odersky.
This course was well designed. The assignment submission tool able to give feedback and pointed out which area I lost point. This was probably the hardest course I've ever taken, provided that it was my first attempt learning functional programming. Nevertheless, it was worth it.
Over 60% of the course and lectures are about compilers and language theory. I have taken those courses in the university already. If you want to learn Scala an how to solve problems in a functional way this course is not for you.
It only about the language syntax and how to apply them. It doesn't go into higher level abstraction. Design patterns or real world problems.
Vpmcompleted this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
I agree with what many of the other reviewers have said: this is a difficult course and the assignments can sometimes take a while. But it's also one in which you learn a great deal, especially if it's your first exposure to functional programming.
The best class I have taken on programming. This course does demand a lot of work from you but it opens up you to new way to think about programming. I had significant professional development experience in Java, but that didn't make it any easier.
Great course. Everything was on time, lectures were great. Problem sets were insightful. Definitely recommend. It is a functional programming language course though, so be prepared for lots of recursion.