Software

Functional Programmers: Get Them When They Are Young

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Executive Summary

With a renewed emphasis on technology education, schools and government agencies are using kid attractive activities such as robotics competitions to draw middle and high school students to STEM oriented majors and careers in general and computer science and programming in particular. These activities tend to use simplified imperative programming languages that emphasize changes to state, loops and jumps as the primary programming techniques. This paper explains why these languages are used and where they came from. The paper also talks about the BotballR program - a software oriented activity for middle and high school students, and explores what characteristics would be needed in a functional programming language in order to get it to be used in Botball and similar programs.

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