Haskell Workshop with WiCS alum!

This past Sunday, we invited our very own WiCS Residential alum Qiao (Rachel) Han to lead a coding workshop that exposed participants to a fascinating functional programming called Haskell. Prior to the workshop, we had the opportunity to indulge in Sabrina Cafe’s signature French toasts (yum yum!), as well as to learn about Rachel’s background and journey in computer science.

Rachel described how in her freshman fall, she explored a variety of engineering classes, ranging from MEAM to EE. Her growing interest in algorithms as well as the tight-knit community at WiCS eventually convinced her to pursue a degree in CIS (which she completed in 3.5 years — while studying a semester abroad in Switzerland!) During the workshop, we were introduced to some Haskell fundamentals, including partial functions, type declaration, pattern matching, as well as fold and filter. For many of us who have learned OCaml in CIS 120, functional programming language is certainly not unfamiliar territory (remember the countless hours we spent debugging Paint?); nevertheless, thanks to this workshop, I gained a more profound understanding of and a deeper appreciation for functional programming.

As you could probably tell, I really enjoyed exploring Haskell and meeting a super cool alum — catered brunch from one of my favourite cafes was also a plus! As final remark, I would highly encourage anyone who’s interested in functional programming to check out CIS 552 (a course that Rachel recommended) – and definitely be on the lookout for more cool WiCS Residential events like this in the future!

By Yuxin Liao

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