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

Björn Bringert bringert at cs.chalmers.se
Mon Feb 5 12:03:38 EST 2007

Thomas Hartman wrote:
> 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
> choices.)
> 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.

Hi Thomas,

the Computer Science Master's programs at Chalmers & Göteborg University 
(Sweden) are quite functional friendly. Courses in functional 
programming (Haskell) are mandatory for most students, and in many other 
courses students are encouraged to use Haskell.

The Göteborg University version of the Master's program [1] still 
accepts applications for this fall (until Feb 15). The possible 
specializations correspond to the Chalmers Master's programs [2].
The Master's program seems to require a Bachelor's degree in Computer 
Science or equivalent, so I don't know how that would work out in your 
case. The courses are held in English, and as far as I understand, 
tuition in Sweden is free to everyone, regardless of citizenship.

Disclaimer: I'm a PhD student at the Chalmers & GU CSE department.



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