[Haskell-beginners] Understanding category theory

Jake Penton djp at arqux.com
Thu Jun 30 02:36:25 CEST 2011

On 2011-06-29, at 8:26 PM, Christopher Howard wrote:

> Would anyone recommend a particular book or tutorial to help me understand category theory? I've tried reading a few tutorials i've googled, but even the "beginner" ones are very difficult and seem to assume a lot.

I just picked up the book by Benjamin Pierce entitled Basic Category Theory for Computer Scientists. It is pretty good; at least I am making some headway in it. I have another more recent book by Pierce called Types and Programming Languages, which I found to be very readable, so I am a bit of a fan of Pierce.

It is not an easy topic, IMHO. I have a B.Sc. in math, and am currently doing a master's degree in software engineering. I find functional programming literature that purports to be tutorial in nature (as opposed to research oriented) some of the most impenetrable stuff I have ever read. Reading it is like trying to eat a bowl of steam with a fork.

Good luck.

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