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Introduction to Functional Programming

Delft University of Technology via edX

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  • Provider edX
  • $ Cost Free Online Course
  • Session Self Paced
  • Language English
  • Start Date
  • Duration 7 weeks long

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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.

LICENSE
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

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Reviews for edX's Introduction to Functional Programming
4.2 Based on 11 reviews

  • 5 stars 55%
  • 4 stars 27%
  • 3 star 0%
  • 2 stars 18%
  • 1 star 0%

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  • 1
Anonymous
2.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
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 be great.

So where is the problem?

The problem is that all the exercises are stupid *find the typo* or boring *enter this into GHCi character by character* problems - I don't think it teaches neither Haskell nor functional programming - it just teaches you to interact with the interpreter.

The next…
5 people found
this review helpful
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Wei E
5.0 3 years ago
Wei completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
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 hand, the exercises may get boring after a while and some stuff covered in the lectures aren't tested fully in exercises/labs (for example, in the Countdown Problem, we only had to select MCQs for a couple of implementations. Personally, I thought that a lab would be a better option).

The interesting labs more than make up for…
3 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
4.0 3 years ago
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
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-difficult and I think I'm learning a lot.

Some criticisms: I do not like the course's practice of allowing only one submission for homework and lab items. I am not the only one, judging by the discussion forums. Numerous people have brought this up and offered suggestions but they seem to be dismissed by the course staff with lame reasons such as "if we allowed two attempts everyone would randomly guess and get 100%". Generally speaking the staff are polite but tend to be dismissive of criticisms about the design of the course and its assessments.
2 people found
this review helpful
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Chema C
5.0 3 years ago
by Chema is taking this course right now, spending 7 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
0 person found
this review helpful
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Mark B
5.0 2 years ago
by Mark completed this course.
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Kuronosuke K
5.0 2 years ago
Kuronosuke completed this course.
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Denis A
4.0 2 years ago
by Denis completed this course.
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Niklas T
2.0 2 years ago
by Niklas dropped this course.
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Daniel B
5.0 2 years ago
by Daniel partially completed this course.
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Alain S
5.0 3 years ago
Alain partially completed this course.
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Gustavo M
4.0 2 years ago
by Gustavo partially completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
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  • 1

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