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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentlest Possible introduction to Lambda Calculus
Very easy to understand. Has the added bonus of solutions to all the questions. Unlike Hankins book you really can teach yourself Lambda Calculus with this. If you see a copy available grab it.
Published on March 17, 2009 by wooks

versus
9 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reads like the 1980s
This book is terrible.

* If you are familiar with Computer Science lexicon, the content itself is probably acceptable.
* The presentation is miserable.
* It reads like a 1980s programming textbook.
* All the examples that are not expressed in Lambda Calculus are written in Pascal. WTF?
* Very little to no theoretical work is done to explain...
Published 14 months ago by Asher


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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentlest Possible introduction to Lambda Calculus, March 17, 2009
Very easy to understand. Has the added bonus of solutions to all the questions. Unlike Hankins book you really can teach yourself Lambda Calculus with this. If you see a copy available grab it.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great resource for understanding lambda calculus, March 23, 2012
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This review is from: An Introduction to Functional Programming Through Lambda Calculus (Dover Books on Mathematics) (Paperback)
I found the first half of this book on lambda calculus to be really helpful. The explanations and problems (solutions provided) made it easy to follow. As the book progresses, the author slowly transforms lambda calculus notation into something resembling ML. At first I was less interested in the "introduction to functional programming" part than the "through lambda calculus" part, so I didn't get as much value from the later chapters initially. Later, when I was learning SML, the value of the latter chapters came through. However, even if your only goal is the same as mine was, to gain an understanding of lambda calculus, I still highly recommend this book. It's the best introduction I've found so far
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to functional programming., November 5, 2012
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This review is from: An Introduction to Functional Programming Through Lambda Calculus (Dover Books on Mathematics) (Paperback)
This book is a very nice read about lambda calculus and FP programming concepts. The only complaint I have is that the added handling
of checking for type mismatches clutters the treatment somewhat in explaining the rest of the concepts. But overall this is a good introduction that still stands strong after this many years.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best way to get started in functional programming, June 3, 2014
This review is from: An Introduction to Functional Programming Through Lambda Calculus (Dover Books on Mathematics) (Paperback)
In my opinion, the best way to get started with functional programming is to wrap your brain around the lambda calculus, which is the genesis of the whole paradigm. I dug around in Haskell, Scala, and Lisp/Scheme/Clojure for a bit. not really fully grasping why things were done the way they were in those languages. Resolving to get a more theoretical background in the math, I found this book. If you read the book carefully, work out the examples on your own, and do most of the exercises, you will have a very good foundation in the math behind functional programming. Since reading the text, I've gone back to Haskell and the lightbulbs go off regularly for me now where there was only confused darkness before. Read the book, do the exercises - then go back to your FP language of choice and you, too, will "get it" on a deeper level than you did before.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too cool, November 3, 2013
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It's so simple and down to earth to understand what's functional programming. A must read for who have no knowledge about it
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lambda Calculus made easy, April 21, 2013
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This review is from: An Introduction to Functional Programming Through Lambda Calculus (Dover Books on Mathematics) (Paperback)
The book has a very concise and clear explanation on Lambda Calculus, and the exercises with answers cover the charpter well.
I think, everybody who intends to learn Functional Programming would read this book, first.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to start, but hard to put down., June 28, 2014
By 
Ryan McNamara (West Milford, NJ) - See all my reviews
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I've been trying to dive into functional programming, so I bought this book. The first chapter or so was a bit off in my opinion. The author should have covered why lambda calculus was invented and done a better job of giving a general overview. However, after looking up a few things online and getting a handle on it, this turned out to be a really amazing book. The author essentially teaches you how to build an entire programming language from first principles. It's quite a journey, actually. And in the process you actually understand how functional programming works. Knowing only beginner python I was able to follow along quite easily and if anything the author went into too much detail. So I found the pacing to be wonderful and because you understand everything that went on previously, the next part really isn't much of a leap. Many confusing functional programming peculiarities like partially applied functions, prefix notation, it's heavy use of recursion (and how it is applied) is a piece of cake. The book concludes with looking at two real programming languages, both of which are still extremely relevant today, and comparing it to the stuff we've been inventing with lambda calculus. The two example languages are Standard ML (which Haskell is largely derived from, for instance) and Common Lisp (which is the other major functional family of languages around today if you ignore prolog).

So even though this is an old book, there's not a whole lot about it that's dated. If anything, it's dated in a very good way: it doesn't use academic language or assume you know a lot of programming concepts (many of which hadn't even been invented, so maybe that's part of it) or anything like that. It's easy to follow along with and lambda calculus is actually kind of fun. It's such a trivially simple method of calculating, but with thought you can create some very high-level math and programming ideas and see how they play out.

By the way, no math knowledge is required to understand this book. Honestly, all you really need to know is the basic concept of addition and multiplication since the author will be implementing addition and multiplication functions. Other than that, there's no reason an absolute beginning to math or programming couldn't pick up this book. You might have to read the second chapter a second time after you get the hang of it.

I want to give it five stars, but it was hard getting going like I mentioned. However, you can easily overcome that by finding and introductory article online or something. Nothing's perfect, but I'm very glad I bought this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read For Every Self-Respecting Software Developer, January 15, 2014
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Like Object-Oriented Programming (OOP), Functional Programming (FP) is emerging as a mainstream paradigm for software developers. There are many great books out there that teach you functional programming, but largely neglect the theoretical/mathematical underpinnings. This language-agnostic book fills the gap with regards to the hows-and-whys and origins of functional programming. Apart from being extremely easy to understand and being fairly rigorous for an introductory-level book, this book also outlines the meanings and origins of some of the traditional terms and notations associated with functional programming, such as "consing". It wasn't until I read this book that I felt a sense of enlightenment as to the value of Functional Programming. Without a question, I have emerged as a much better software developer after reading this book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Learn functional programming from the foundations, April 12, 2013
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This review is from: An Introduction to Functional Programming Through Lambda Calculus (Dover Books on Mathematics) (Paperback)
This volume will provide a solid foundation in functional programing semantics using the lambda calculus. This is a good second book on functional programing, for the reader desiring a deeper understanding of functional programming in general. The languages that they use in the end are Standard ML and Common Lisp, both of which are used in one form or another. (F/# for example has its foundations in ML). Lazy programming languages like Haskell are not addressed, and this is likely because at the time this book was written those languages were still under development.

The coolest part is that this volume shows you how to do everything with lambda calculus, that is with functions. Numbers, booleans, recursion, its all here. Great fun for the right kind of person.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent approach to paradigm, December 5, 2013
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As a teacher and programmer I consider this book an excellent approach both to introduce students into functional programming and to give a better understand of the paradigm to professionals field.
Very academic and didactic!!!
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An Introduction to Functional Programming Through Lambda Calculus (Dover Books on Mathematics)
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