Functional Geekery Episode 28 – Tom Stuart

In this episode I talk with Tom Stuart about Computation. We talk about his background in software, his book Understanding Computation, Computation Club, and how to bring computer science ideas of mathematics and abstraction to every software developer.

Our Guest, Tom Stuart

@tomstuart on Twitter
tomstuart on Github


This episode is sponsored by DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean makes it quick and easy to get up running with hosting your project. New users use the promo code GEEKERY to get $10 credit when signing up.

This episode is sponsored by The courses build good fundamentals and guide you to develop deep skills with the Clojure language and libraries. Listeners get a 25% discount by using the link


ElixirConf 2015 is happening in Austin, TX on October 1st-3rd. Keynote speakers include past guests José Valim and Jessica Kerr, with over 28 speakers and over 200 guests. To check the schedule and register visit

Chicago Erlang 2015 is coming up on the 10th of October, in the format of a two track, one day Erlang workshop. To find out more and to register visit

CityCode Chicago will be taking place on the 9th of October. City Code Chicago is a one day immersive technology conference for programmers to spark creativity and innovation. To find out more and to register visit

Code Mesh 2015 is going to take place on the 3rd and 4th of November, and listeners can use the code fngeekery10 to get 10% off when you register.

RICON 2015 will take place on the 5th and 6th of November, and podcast listeners can use the code “Saland100” to get a $100 discount when you register before October 15th. will be taking place on November 9th and 10th. is a two-day conference, bringing together 300 developers for an eclectic collection of talks covering the latest trends, best practices, and research in the field of computing. For more information visit

LambdaDays 2016 will be taking place on the 18th and 19th of February in Kraków, Poland. The CFP has opened, and will be open through December 1st, 2015. Visit to submit your CFP response!

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


About Tom
On being a Computer Scientist
Background on Graduate work at University of Cambridge
Teaching undergraduates as a forced learning experience
Substructural Type Systems
Understanding Computation
“Brain dump of all the things I think are fun and interesting”
The Lambda Calculus
“Computation is some kind of slightly mysterious property of the universe”
Stephen Wolfram’s Cellular Automata And Complexity
“This book will not get you a better job”
Computational Universality
Undecidability and Church-Turing Thesis
The Halting Problem
Gödel’s incompleteness theorems
Programs as something that can be analyzed
Rice’s Theorem
Reception of ideas across the Ruby community
“A lot of people will never sit down and learn Haskell or Scheme”
Tom’s talk about monads
“If you don’t know the category of the thing, it is hard to recognize things in that category”
Anchoring the concept of a monad by examples of other abstract data types
Futamura Projection and Partial Evaluation
London Computation Club
The Little Schemer
The Elements of Computing Systems a.k.a From NAND to Tetris
“I think this is interesting and we should be talking and thinking about it”
Computation Club Slack team
Computation Club mailing list
computationclub on Github
@computationclub on Twitter
“This is why I will never be commercially successful”
How to Write a Web Application in Ruby
Brett Victor
Chris Granger
About Eve
“Please let me know what we can do to promote the idea of, for lack of a better word, functional geekery”
“Referential Transparency should not be a dirty word”
Tom’s presentation on µKanren in Ruby

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