[plt-scheme] The Lambda Calculus behind functional programming

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Wed Aug 29 22:17:50 EDT 2007

On Aug 29, 2007, at 7:10 PM, Michael Vanier wrote:

> I've recently been working through the book "An Introduction to  
> Lambda Calculi for Computer Scientists":
> http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Lambda-Calculi-Computer- 
> Scientists/dp/0954300653/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-0899652-5021466? 
> ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1188428868&sr=8-1
> It's a decent book.  Not without flaws, but it gets the job done.

I don't know Chris's book. I do know that lazy fp people tend to have  
an abusively narrow view of the connection between CS and LC. So  
study the source, Luke, is still a good thing.

> It's nowhere near as comprehensive as Barendregt, but it goes over  
> the essentials in a reasonably short space.
> Also, I just noticed that Church's original monograph on lambda  
> calculus is in print:
> http://www.amazon.com/Calculi-Lambda-Conversion-Mathematics-Studies/ 
> dp/0691083940/ref=sr_1_2/103-0899652-5021466? 
> ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1188428868&sr=8-2

I read the original book (194x) during my dissertation time, I own it  
of course, and I cannot recommend it for a computer scientist.

It's like studying physics from Newton's manuscript in the late  
1800s. They had made progress and we need to acknowledge the man but  
not that writing.

-- Matthias

> I hear these books make great stocking stuffers.
> Mike
> Matthias Felleisen wrote:
>> On Aug 29, 2007, at 5:35 PM, Chris Stephenson wrote:
>>> What would your reading list be for the self study, apart from  
>>> Barendregt?
>> When I present this piece of the puzzle in PhD seminars, I use
>> original literature as much as possible:
>>  Barendregt, The Lambda Calculus, North Holland
>>  chapters 2 and 3
>>  Plotkin, Call-by-name, call-by-value, and the lambda calculus
>>  Theoretical Computer Science, 1974
>>  Plotkin, PCF considered a programming language
>>  Theoretical Computer Science, 1978
>> Optionally, if you wish to hook up pure LC with effects:
>>  Felleisen and Friedman,  Control operators, the SECD-machine, and  
>> the lambda-calculus.
>>  Formal Description of Programming Concepts III, North Holland, 1986
>> If you can wait, Robby is organizing a workshop and we intend to  
>> produce a book from that. Not original literature but the first  
>> two above explained for Comp Sci tists.
>> Alternatively, go to the NU PLT pubs site and download the monograph.
>> -- Matthias
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