In the functional programming world, we rely on languages with type systems that help us write, extend and maintain our software. These type systems, such as the one in Haskell, are based on solid type theory. While we usually and easily see the benefits of having a static type system on simple types such as integers, we might fail to see the benefits of applying the same principles to user-defined data types. Continue reading
Interactive theorem proving such as one provided by Agda is so empowering. The help provided by the compiler while interactively developing a proof is invaluable. Types guide you to a solution at every single step.
On Tuesday, March 26, I’ll be giving a talk on propositions as types to the Lambda Zagreb Meetup group. The talk will be in Croatian and it is titled ¬ sve za ∀ (no ∃ uvod u propozicije kao tipove), which can be translated as ¬ everything is for ∀ (but there ∃ an introduction to propositions as types). Obviously, I incorporated logic operators into the title with the goal to make it catchy and to attract more audience with an unusual title. Given that only about 10 people RSVPed so far and that there are only three days left until the talk, it looks like I’ve achieved quite the opposite!
To me as a programmer, to write mathematical proofs that are mechanically checked by a computer feels empowering. To have these proofs as executable programs feels even more empowering. Therefore, our proofs have a computational aspect and vice-versa: our programs have a logical aspect. To be able to get an instant feedback while proving a theorem is amazing. With Agda, a dependently typed functional programming language, one can interactively write a proof by getting guidance from Agda as to what is left to prove. Furthermore, Agda checks the correctness of proofs by following a set of rules. Unlike with pen and paper proofs, proofs in Agda are much more rigorous because there is no room for hand-waving nor unwarranted claims for something to be trivial. An uninformed mathematician will likely find this comparison to Agda hard to believe.