Biggest Haskell unit in the world

Hamilton Richards
Wed, 27 Jun 2001 22:07:28 -0500

At 9:32 PM -0500 6/25/01, Bernard James POPE wrote:

> ... I think Miranda replaced
>Pascal as the first language taught to students, but that was a long time
>ago and I
>wasn't here at the time.

The switch from imperative to functional must be the hardest, both
politically and pedagogically. Does anyone recall how it came about?

> ... The use of Haskell is filtering up through the later-year subjects,
>as both staff and
>students become more comfortable with it. I think that many of our
>students do not
>appreciate some of the strong features of declarative programming until
>third or fourth
>year when they are faced with larger (more difficult) programming tasks.

I've had several students from my Haskell-based first course (i.e.,
subject) thank me later on, but the vast majority, lacking reinforcement,
seem to lose their ability to think functionally.

>There is still a conception amongst some of the students that FP is not really
>part of "Real World" programming, and that it is merely of interest to

If I could say that about my fellow academics, I would be delighted!

Thanks for the enlightenment. Is my envy showing?


Hamilton Richards, PhD           Department of Computer Sciences
Senior Lecturer                  Mail Code C0500
512-471-9525                     The University of Texas at Austin
Taylor Hall 5.138                Austin, Texas 78712-1188