Functional Programming For Big Data Analytics
Written by Sue Gee   
Tuesday, 13 October 2020

A new online course that provides an introduction to the principles of functional programming, the particular challenges of distributed systems, and how big data processing systems use functional programming to respond to these obstacles starts next week. The next presentation of this course starts on April 28. 2021 and enrollment is open unitl April 21.  


These days most large applications use a lot of functional programming techniques. If you have previously avoided  functional programming but now need it to deal with big data, Introduction to Functional Programming for Big Data Processing is about to have its inaugural presentation. 

Functional programming paradigms in Big Data processing do not only make the user code more elegant but a good understanding of the foundations and the effects on how the platform executes the processing is key to achieving good performance and scalability. Learn how language design and system architecture address common issues in distributed systems. Finally, get some practice with state-of-the art tools like Apache Spark.

In this video, Jan Rellermeyer, assistant professor in the Distributed Systems group at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) explains the renaissance of  functional programming  and introduces Lambda Calculus:


This five-week, five-module course is designed to be hands-on and includes a practical project with Apache Spark. It covers

  • Lambda Calculus
  • from Lambda Calculus to functional programming
  • fundamentals of distributed systems
  • systems for Big Data processing
  • functional programming in Scala
  • programming for Big Data analytics

By the end of this course you will know:

  • the fundamentals of functional programming
  • how to build distributed systems to leverage large clusters of machines
  • how big data processing platforms benefit from a functional programming style to efficiently distribute the processing of data among many machines.

A related course, Taming Big Data Streams: Real-time Data Processing at Scale, (4 weeks, a total of around 20 hours) is self paced and enrollment is also open until April 21, 2021. In it students will develop the skills to design real-time stream processing pipelines, in a scalable and efficient manner, using Apache Flink - the state-of-the-art open-source technology for stream processing. by its end they will be able to set up enterprise pipelines for processing application logs, monitor data centers, deploy ML models for real-time pattern detection and predictive analytics.

While TU Delft has used the edX platform for course delivery, and still does for its free, self-paced courses, these two courses are on its own online platform. The promotional material points out that TU Delft is ranked at #7 in Europe in the 2019 QS World Rankings for Engineering & Technology and cite the following benefits:

        Course work & interactions are 100% online

        Study at the time and place that suits you

        24/7 access to course material

Each of the two courses has a fee of € 695 ($819,£631) 


More Information

Introduction to Functional Programming for Big Data Processing

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Last Updated ( Monday, 22 March 2021 )