The Dys-functional student

  • Chris Clack
  • Colin Myers
From Transistors to Computer Architecture
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1022)


Functional languages liberate students from complex syntax, complex semantics and complex memory allocation; allowing them to concentrate on problem-solving. However, functional programming is not a universal panacea. Students still have problems with language features, program concepts and the legacy of the imperative paradigm. This paper aims to assist the lecturer asked to teach a functional language for the first time. We present typical student mistakes, attempt to explain why these mistakes arise, and propose possible remedies.


Base Case Pattern Match Function Definition Functional Programming Functional Language 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [App94]
    A. Appel. A critique of Standard ML. JFP, 3:391–429, 1993.Google Scholar
  2. [Cla94]
    C. Clack, C. Myers & E. Poon. Programming with Miranda. Prentice Hall, 1994.Google Scholar
  3. [Joo93]
    S. Joosten, K. van der Berg & G. ven der Hoeven. Teaching functional programming to first-year students. JFP, 3:49–65, 1993.Google Scholar
  4. [Lam93]
    T. Lambert, P. Lindsay & K. Robinson. Using Miranda as a first programming language. JFP, 3:5–34, 1993.Google Scholar
  5. [Mol93]
    P. Molyneux. Functional programming for business students. JFP, 3:35–48, 1993.Google Scholar
  6. [Mor82]
    J. Morris. Real Programming in Functional Languages, in J. Darlington P. Henderson & D. Turner Functional Programming and its Applications, CUP, 1982.Google Scholar
  7. [Mye93]
    C. Myers, C. Clack & E. Poon. Programming with Standard ML. Prentice Hall, 1993.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Clack
    • 1
  • Colin Myers
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer ScienceUniversity College LondonLondon
  2. 2.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of WestminsterLondon

Personalised recommendations