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2011 Preconference Proposals

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* Contact: Erik Hatcher (erik.hatcher at
== Intro to Functional Programming with JavaScript (and a little Haskell) ==
* Description: Functional programming is a topic that is becoming increasingly important for programmers to be aware of. Unfortunately it also has the reputation of being an area of programming that is particularly difficult and academic. Languages like Haskell, while being very powerful, certainly live up to this reputation. However many of the essential features of functional programming can be explored through a language as simple and commonplace as JavaScript.
:This preconference talk will cover what makes a language ‘functional’ and the usage and implementation of essential features of functional programming: first-class functions, lambda functions, higher order functions, closures, and function currying. It will show how many of the powerful abstractions in a language like Haskell can also be implemented in a language like JavaScript, this will include a discussion of the trade offs between purity and performance.
:The aim of this talk is to prepare participants to both implement functional techniques in everyday programming, as well as start exploring the topic more academically. Even if you never plan on coding in a purely functional style this workshop will give you an understanding of topics that should improve your programming in other languages with functional features such as Ruby, Python, and C#. At the very least after this workshop you can go to the bar and throw around words like “lambda function”, “closure” and “currying” with confidence!
* Duration: half-day
* Speaker Bio: Will Kurt is the Applications Development Librarian at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is also working on a master’s in Computer Science. He has spoken at several library conferences including Computers in Libraries and Internet Librarian on topics including the Microsoft Surface and Visualizing Information.
* Contact: Will Kurt (wkurt at

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