[Haskell-cafe] OT: any haskell-friendly / functional programming friendly comp sci programs? (for a 30s guy who did his undergrad in liberal arts)

Thomas Hartman tphyahoo at gmail.com
Mon Feb 5 07:39:39 EST 2007

haskellers, I'm contemplating returning to school after a decade as a
worker bee, and almost that long as a worker bee doing computer
consulting / miscelaneous tech stuff.

Ideally I'd like to get a masters, but I don't know if that's feasible
this late in the game. If it's not, I might settle for a lesser degree
and worry about the masters later.

Part of my desire to return to school is that after encountering
functional programming over the past year or so (first through lisp,
then haskell), I've found something that I'm really interested in, but
that it feels the amount of learning I can do around a job just won't
cut it to get to the level that I want. That's the personal reason;
the practical reason is that I think it would be a good networking
opportunity (hankering to start my own company, and not meeting the
right kinds of people), and obviously increase my chance of getting
better paying, but especially more *interesting* jobs. I have some
savings, figure loans would cover the rest, and no wife or kids.

So I'll make a rather open ended request for advice. Are there decent
comp sci master's programs out there that will take someone who didn't
do a hard science in undergrad, but has lots of work-related
experience with programming? If not, what's the next best thing? Get a
quick bachelor's? Spend six months cramming for the GREs and then try
for a master's?

Whether master's, bachelor's, or other, I am specifically interested
in programs that are "functional" friendly. In other words, I don't
want to just go and study algorithms in java for two years. Ideally,
I'd like to go somewhere where I could really explore and get good at
the functional languages, with haskell my current favorite but also
open to others. (For what it's worth, most of my experience is in
perl, but I take it seriously as a language and try not to write the
kind of throwaway crap that mean people make fun of.)

My background is that I have a liberal arts bachelors from an american
ivy. Though I enjoyed the program very much, it probably wasn't the
wisest financial decision, given the type of career I subsequently
gravitated to. But hey, maybe that gives me a different kind of
perspective that has its own kind of value. Since, then, there;s
mainly work work work for me, with some time off bumming around
europe. And, on my own time: learn learn learn. I'm now 31.

I've been living in germany for a few years, mainly freelancing as a
computer consultant, and am open to programs in europe -- probably
either england or germany. Largely because programs out here seem to
be significantly cheaper than programs in the states, and being a
somewhat older student seems to be less unusual out here. However,
truth be told, I have a hankering for my homeland, the good old USA.
And if possible somewhere in california, where my extended family is
based, or it not that new york, where I have a good network. (But open
to other locations as well; cali and new york would just be my top

Distance learning is okay if the program is really good, but doing the
campus thing again, perhaps while working part or semi-full time,
would be the ideal (though perhaps I'm pushing the age limit there?).

This has gotten rather long, so I'll leave it at that.

Sorry about going off topic, and thanks in advance for any advice.


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