Video details

"Category Theory: An Abstraction for Anything" by Alissa Pajer


Category theory provides a mathematically sound foundation on which we can create collections of objects and express morphisms between them. Together, along with a few simple rules, a collection of objects and morphisms forms a category to which we can apply many useful results, such as the uniqueness of an identity morphism. Furthermore, once we have a category in hand, we can formally explore the relationships it has with other categories, deducing powerful and practical abstractions.
The power of category theory lies in the relative simplicity and accessibility of its definitions. From just a handful of straightforward concepts, we can formalize many concrete ideas such as directed acyclic graphs, currying, polymorphic functions, and Haskell itself. This talk will introduce the basics of category theory, while simultaneously diving into specific programming-related examples of categories, functors, and natural transformations. In addition to exploring profound and beautiful concepts, this talk aims to provide you with the tools necessary to recognize category-theoretical patterns in your own programming projects.
Alissa Pajer Precog @alissapajer
Alissa Pajer works as an Engineer at Precog, programming full-time in Scala. Before her coding days she studied pure mathematics, earning a Bachelors from Carleton College and a Masters from the University of Colorado. She currently lives in Boulder where she's known to run up mountains.
Recorded at Strange Loop conference ( in St. Louis, MO, Oct 2013.