The programming language market (was Re: [Haskell-cafe] Why functional programming matters

Dipankar Ray dipankar at
Sun Jan 27 23:05:09 EST 2008

thanks for the correction - very informative! that'll teach me to just go 
to the opencourseware site at MIT only...

On Sun, 27 Jan 2008, Dan Licata wrote:

> On Jan27, Dipankar Ray wrote:
>> What I mean by this is that if I look at the CS programs at Berkeley, MIT,
>> CMU, I don't see a huge emphasis on PL. Looking now at the MIT
>> opencourseware offerings in EECS, I see no undergrad course that suggests
>> that you'd learn anything about modern type theory.
>> 3) most of the canonical US universities for CS (MIT, Berkeley, Stanford,
>> CMU, etc) basically don't teach haskell or ML, or even talk much about it,
>> relative to how much they talk about, say, Java.
> Not to dispute your general point, but CMU is an exception to this rule.
> There's a course, taught in SML, on basic functional programming,
> continuations, laziness, etc:
> This course is required for all CS majors and occurs fairly early in the
> sequence (freshman spring or sophomore fall).
> We also have a fairly hardcore introduction to type systems and
> operational semantics:
> and a course on constructive logic:
> These electives are taken by ~30-40 students each, so I'd guess that
> somewhere between a third and a half of the undergrads go through one of
> them.
> And then there are electives, either mostly undergrad, like this course
> in typed compilation:
> or mostly grad, like this course on logic programming (but there are
> always at least a handful of undergrads in the room):
> And then there are two grad-level PL distribution-requirement courses
> (one on type systems, one on denotational semantics), which usually have
> a few interested undergrads.  And many undergrads get involved in PL
> research as well.
> Maybe the real question is why so few universities have large groups of
> PL faculty to teach these courses? =)
> -Dan

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