Programming with Categories

"Programming with Categories" (video version) is a new class taught at MIT in early 2020 by Brendan Fong, Bartosz Milewski, and David Spivak. Near the beginning of Lecture 0 Prof Spivak observes:

... There's this mathematics whose job it is to understand models — different models and how they fit together — structures, relationships, and organizations. That's important in the Real World. Some people say that all you need to understand the Real World is optimization because we're always just optimizing everything. But another point of view is to say that there are structures everywhere and there are relationships everywhere. ...

... and a bit later he notes:

... There's this gap between Category Theory which is a pure subject and programming which is an applied subject. Pure Category Theory is almost never useful in anything [laughter] — unless at the very end you let yourself break it. It's like this Platonic Ideal. ... Math never really quite applies. There isn't really one goat or two goats. There's a goat with a mangled ear. Nothing's perfect in this world. Nothing is perfectly math, and Category Theory is no exception. But there's a pure side for thinking and an applied side for doing, and somehow they almost relate. They relate closely enough that one can be useful for the other. So thinking about the Real World, even though it's all just inside this thing made of meat inside your brain inside your head, it is still somehow applying to the Real World out there. And in the same way, Category Theory is still somehow applying to programming. ...

... looks promising!

(cf Ultimate Abstraction (2017-08-24), Haskell Goodness (2018-07-15), Why Care about Category Theory (2019-03-03), Category Theory and Minds (2019-10-11), ...) - ^z - 2020-01-27