Lambda the Ultimate

inactiveTopic Lambda Calculi : A Guide for Computer Scientists - Hankin
started 4/2/2001; 8:52:09 AM - last post 4/3/2001; 4:28:17 AM
Ehud Lamm - Lambda Calculi : A Guide for Computer Scientists - Hankin  blueArrow
4/2/2001; 8:52:09 AM (reads: 1541, responses: 1)
Lambda Calculi : A Guide for Computer Scientists - Hankin
This book was mentioned on c.l.functional as an intro to LC, and since I have the book open on my desk, I thought I'd mention it here.

This is a pretty short book (~ 160 pages), mostly dealing with the proof theory of type free LC.

The TOC:

  1. Inroduction
  2. Notation and Basic Theory
  3. Reduction
  4. Combinatory Logic
  5. Semantics
  6. Computability
  7. Types
  8. Practical Issues
  9. Other Calculi
  10. Further Reading

The book includes proofs, and provides exercises.

I found the presentation a bit cumbersome, since I think the idea of compuation by reduction and the computability aspects of the LC should be introduced earlier.

The chapter on combinatory logic is very good, and this is a great strength as this is usully treated as an after thought. The Further Reading section is also quite useful.

But linking this item to Amazon, I noticed that the price of the book is prohibitive. I think many introductions which are available online (and which we linked to in the past) provide much the same material almost for free.

Posted to LC by Ehud Lamm on 4/2/01; 8:57:09 AM

Frank Atanassow - Re: Lambda Calculi : A Guide for Computer Scientists - Hankin  blueArrow
4/3/2001; 4:28:17 AM (reads: 841, responses: 0)
I love this book. It's the one that first got me interested in formal methods and semantics. I remember wanting to know more about functional programming and logic after my first encounter with Haskell, but I found all the complex notation in most textbooks intimidating. But Hankin's book did not seem so heavy to me (indeed, it is literally quite light, being only slightly larger than a paperback novel and only a hundred pages or two), and I found that I could understand it fairly easily if I applied myself. It gave me enough confidence to tackle more lengthy and involved books afterward, and gave me a good introduction to how computer scientists analyze formal systems.

I recommend it.