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Teahing Haskell... to High Schoolers! (Rohan Mehta)


I am a high school student (current senior) who first discovered functional programming in the 9th grade, through Clojure. I was so taken in by the idea of FP that I decided to explore other languages that used the paradigm as well, which invariably led me to Haskell. The culmination of this interest was the first ever iteration of the Paradigm Conference, a conference hosted by a team of high schoolers (including myself) from around the world, completely for high schoolers and all about FP programming languages that are underrepresented in high school CS curriculums. Of the languages in the event, Haskell (perhaps unsurprisingly) was the clear favorite. In this talk, I would like to reflect on what attendees of our event learned technically from attempting our Haskell coding competition and building things like a Haskell bot which transcribes Discord notifications to Whats App, as well as what educational resources we released to guide them through the Haskell acclimation process. Finally, I'd like to end by making a case for why learning FP and Haskell in particular should have a place in today's high school CS curriculum and what else (other than Paradigm Conf 2023!) we can do to increase young programmers' interest in the language.