Functional Geekery Episode 39 – Philip Wadler

In this episode I talk with Professor Philip Wadler. We talk the correspondence between mathematics and computation, his research into concurrent distributed systems, and other research in the area with ABCD and BETTY.

Our Guest, Professor Philip Wadler

Professor Wadler is @philipwadler on Twitter


This episode is sponsored by’s Online Mentoring has just launched. It is step-by-step online mentoring that takes you from Clojure dabbler to Clojure professional. Sign up with the link to get 50% off the first month!


Compose :: Conference will be taking place Thursday, Feb. 4th and Friday, Feb. 5 of 2016 in New York City. Compose is a conference for typed functional programmers, focused specifically on Haskell, OCaml, F#, SML, and related technologies. To find out more and to register, visit

LambdaDays 2016 will be taking place on the 18th and 19th of February in Kraków, Poland. The CFP and registration has opened, so make sure to visit to find out more. And make sure to use code FunkyGeekz4dWin to get 10% off registration.

:clojureD 2016 will be taking place on the 20th of February in Berlin, Germany. The CFP has opened, so make sure to visit to find out more.

ElixirDaze will be taking place March 4th in St. Augustine, Florida. ElixirDaze is a one day conference with a nearly full day of talks and a Helping Hack session to close it out. Visit to find out more.

Erlang Factory San Fransisco will be taking place on the 10th and 11th of March, with training on the 7th through the 9th of March and the 14th through the 16th of March. The Call for Talks is now open through December 15th, and the Very Early Bird registration is open as well.

If you have a conference related to functional programming, contact me, and I will be happy to announce it.


About Philip Wadler
Wadler on Computability at The Stand
Took a course in Lisp from John McCarthy at Standford
“How can you know you are doing the right thing?”
Formal proofs vs empirical studies
Eugenio Moggi and Gordon Plotkin and Denotational Semantics
“If you write things in italic font instead of teletype font, all of a sudden people think ‘That’s too difficult, I can’t do that'”
“Mathematics is general approach to reasoning”
Propositions at Types
Linear Logic and concurrent distributed systems
“There were things that were done for completely independent reasons that are useful to computing”
Current world view of his research
Process Calculi
CCS by Robin Milner
CSP by Tony Hoare
Pi Calculus by Robin Milner
Kohei Honda
Correspondence between Session Types and Linear Logic
Multi-Party Session Types
Nobuko Yoshida
Marco Carbone
Fabrizio Montesi
Carsten Schürmann
Where can people find out more information and resources
ABCD – A Basis for Concurrency and Distribution
Professor Wadler’s Homepage
Lambda Calculus
Philip Wadler waving his Fuzzy Stuffed Lambda
Waving Fuzzy Lambda
Philip Wadler and Daugter with Fuzzy Lambda
“If you can cope with JavaScript or with many of the other systems that are out there you have the skills to cope with the mathematics that is out there.”
Introduction to Functional Programming
“Have a weird name”

As always, a giant Thank You goes to David Belcher for the logo design.