I'm a math Ph.D. having done research in Algebraic Geometry and Algebraic Topology in grad school for my thesis and I've studied a fair amount of category theory in the process (e.g. having worked through most of "Categories for the Working Mathematician" as well as more specialized topics in Homological Algebra). Is there some good intro to functional programming that emphasizes the link with category theory in the process?

Context: In my workplace I've run into people that are into functional programming and like throwing around category theory jargon, but when you ask for details they typically fail to even be able to define what a category is. I'm hoping that there's more to it in programming than just abstract nonsense. In other words, for someone who actually knows category theory and has done some functional style programming (immutable classes, map, filter, reduce etc.) in imperative languages is there a good intro to FP in the context of category theory?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Category Theory for Programmers is an introduction to category theory for programmers, but it could work well in the other direction too, as Bartosz explains many of the examples with examples from programming language (primarily Haskell). This could be a good place to start. $\endgroup$ – varkor Jun 21 at 16:37

These colleagues of yours, would they happen to be Haskell aficionados? They might have told you that Hask was a category made from Haskell, but that is a lie, notheless a very useful one that inspires new programming techniques.

If you would like to find out how category theory informs functional programming, I can recommend Bartosz Milewski's Category theory for programmers.

There is also the older Category theory for computer science by Michael Barr and Charless Wells, which is more of a straight introduction to category theory. It might be a good book for functional programmers who only ever learned the bastardized category theory through functional programming.

| cite | improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.