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COMP 311: Functional Programming (Fall 2017)


Dr. Nick Vrvilo (2σ)

Dr. Corky Cartwright

Graduate TAs
  • Yao-Hsiang Yang
  • Weixi Zhu
Undergraduate TAs
  • Nate Kim


MEL 251 (Mechanical Laboratories)

Lecture Times

4pm–5:15pm TR

Course Email{nick.vrvilo,cork}@rice.eduOnline DiscussionPiazza – Rice Comp 311



This class provides an introduction to concepts, principles, and approaches of functional programming. Functional programming is a style of programming in which the key means of computation is the application of functions to arguments (which themselves can be functions). This style of programming has a long history in computer science, beginning with the formulation of the Lambda Calculus as a foundation for mathematics. It has become increasingly popular in recent years because it offers important advantages in designing, maintaining, and reasoning about programs in modern contexts such as web services, multicore programming, and distributed computing. Course work consists of a series of programming assignments in the Scala programming language and various extensions.

Grading, Honor Code Policy, Processes, and Procedures

Grading will be based on your performance on weekly programming assignments. All work in this class is expected to be your own, and you are expected not to post your solutions or share your work with other students, even after you have taken the course. Please read the Comp 311 Honor Code Policy for more details on how you are expected to work on your assignments.

All students will be held to the standards of the Rice Honor Code, a code that you pledged to honor when you matriculated at this institution. If you are unfamiliar with the details of this code and how it is administered, you should consult the Honor System Handbook. This handbook outlines the University's expectations for the integrity of your academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process.

Accommodations for Students with Special Needs

Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact me during the first two weeks of class regarding special needs. Students with disabilities should also contact Disabled Student Services in the  Ley Student Center  and the  Rice Disability Support Services .

Lecture Schedule (Subject to Change Without Notice)

Conditional Functions on Ranges, Point Values, and Compound Datatypes

Semantics of Type Checking, Binary Methods, Abstract Datatypes

For Expressions, Monads, The Environment Model of Reduction

Call-by-Name, Environment Model of Type Checking, Generative Recursion

* Lectures slides not yet updated from last year are marked with an asterisk.

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