Discover Haskell On FutureLearn
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 22 April 2019

A course on the functional programming language Haskell from the University of Glasgow recently started on the FutureLearn Platform. There's still time to join in this presentation which provides a hands-on learning experience.


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Functional Programming in Haskell: Supercharge Your Coding sets out to demonstrate the power, elegance and simplicity of functional programming in Haskell. It is a 6-week course requiring four hours of study per week. It started on April 15, 2019 so two weeks are already available. While this is an introductory level course as far as Haskell and Functional Programming are concerned, it is intended for learners who already have experience of at least one programming language, such as Python or Java.

The introduction to the course explains that Haskell is a functional programming language, based on formal mathematical principles that executes efficiently on modern multicore machines and that you'll find a demand for Haskell from investment banks to social networks. In the initial video, course intructors Wim Vanderbauwhede and Jeremy Singer also point out that Glasgow University was a prominent research contributor to the development of Haskell, back in the late 80s.  

The topics covered in the course are:

  • Evaluation via expression reduction
  • Semantics of function abstraction and application
  • Operations involving basic types including integers, characters and booleans
  • Definition and traversal of recursive data types including lists and trees
  • Techniques for structuring programs of non-trivial size
  • Developing custom parsing tools with library support
  • Automated testing with the QuickCheck tool
  • Infinite data structures and lazy evaluation
  • Type classes
  • Principles of Lambda calculus
  • Monads

The course videos have been recorded in live lectures and its programming exercises use an interactive coding environment based on TryHaskell, where you are prompted to enter pieces of code and get instant feedback on them.


By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • characterize the differences between imperative and functional programming paradigms;
  • implement small-scale functional programs in elementary Haskell;
  • apply standard combinators for operating on lists;
  • create new algebraic data types and use recursion to define functions that traverse recursive types; and reason in a mathematical manner about data types, functions, recursion and similar functional constructs. 
You can join Functional Programming in Haskell for free. This gives you 8 weeks before your access expires. However, this course is also part of FutureLearn Unlimited which gives one year's access to hundred of short courses in a wide variety of subjects with a printable digital Certificate of Achievement on those you successfully complete. There's an introductory offer until May 11 of  £149, saving £60 on the normal £209. If this is the only course you want to do and you want a certificate and access to it for as long as it remains on FutureLearn you can upgrade for £62.
So if you have always wanted to know what a monad is - now is your chance.



More Information


Functional Programming in Haskell: Supercharge Your Coding

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 Real World Haskell: Code You Can Believe In (Book Review)

 A Fresh Perspective On Programming Languages From Coursera 

MOOC On Functional Programming Using Haskell 

Supercomputing MOOC on FutureLearn 

Prepare to Run a Code Club with FutureLearn

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