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Understanding the Lambda Calculus: 40 Years in the Dark

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The lambda calculus is the foundation for modern functional programming. The pure calculus first appeared in a paper by Alonzo Church in 1932. I encountered it 40 years later, but only 40 years after that did I begin to understand what it is. The story is indicative of the nature of abstraction in mathematics.

This talk is part of the Trinity Mathematical Society series.

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