David Turner

Inventor of Miranda

David Turner has been researching functional programming languages and their implementation since 1972 and is one of the pioneers of the field.  He is Emeritus Professor of Computation at the University of Kent, in Canterbury, and also an emeritus professor of Middlesex University. 

David is best known as the inventor of combinator graph reduction and the designer of a series of lazy functional languages - SASL, KRC and Miranda - that had a strong influence on the development of the field and on the emergence of Haskell. 

He invented or coinvented many of the ideas which are now standard in functional programming including pattern matching with guards, list comprehensions and the "list of successes" method for eliminating backtracking.

At Lambda Days 2017 David will talk about some of the history of functional programming languages and how it reflects what are still live issues of language design.

Topics will include:

  • what did LISP and Algol 60 each get wrong and get right back in 1960 
  • the advantages and disadvantages of lazy evaluation 
  • run time typing (as in Erlang) versus static typing (as in Haskell)
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