Philip Wadler

Professor of Theoretical Computer Science at The University of Edinburgh

Philip Wadler is Professor of Theoretical Computer Science at the University of Edinburgh. He is an ACM Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, past chair of ACM SIGPLAN, past holder of a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Fellowship, and a winner of the POPL Most Influential Paper Award. Previously, he worked or studied at Stanford, Xerox Parc, CMU, Oxford, Chalmers, Glasgow, Bell Labs, and Avaya Labs, and visited as a guest professor in Copenhagen, Sydney, and Paris. He has an h-index of 60, with more than 18,000 citations to his work according to Google Scholar. He contributed to the designs of Haskell, Java, and XQuery, and is a co-author of Introduction to Functional Programming (Prentice Hall, 1988), XQuery from the Experts (Addison Wesley, 2004) and Generics and Collections in Java (O'Reilly, 2006). He has delivered invited talks in locations ranging from Aizu to Zurich.

The talk will explain why category theory is of interest for developers, taking examples from Java and Haskell, and referencing the new blockchain scripting languages Simplicity, Michelson, and Plutus.

The principle of Propositions as Types describes a correspondence between, on the one hand, propositions and proofs in logic, and, on the other, types and programs in computing. And, on the third hand, we have category theory!

Assuming only high school maths, the talk will explain how categories model three basic data types: products (logical and), sums (logical or), and functions (logical implication). And it explains why you already learned the most important stuff in high school.

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