Computer Science

Computer Science

Scientific Work

I'm best known for the functional language Shen; The Book of Shen (third edition) is the canonical text. Probably the most concise summary of Shen is in this appeal of 2013. There is a Shen language website from which you can download Shen, and this includes an open source manual. The Shen News Group exists for Shen and we have over 500 subscribers. There is also a Shen under Twitter and a Shen wiki run by good people. Being of the old fart generation, I actually don't contribute much to these, but don't let that stop you.

If you're really keen on learning the history of this research, Shen was a portable development of a predecessor language Qi which is described in this invited talk of 2008, Lisp for the C21 (.wmv file). There was also this talk which predated Shen - The Next Lisp. The old web site for Qi was Lambda Associates which exists on the Shen site as an archive,

During the brief Indian summer of my time as a lecturer, I taught discrete mathematics at Stony Brook to first year computer science students. My notes eventually shaped themselves into a text Logic, Proof and Computation.

Popular (and unpopular) Essays

I wrote a series of essays on various topics connected with education and writing software:

  • The Bipolar Lisp Programmer: this was an essay which came from my experience as a lecturer of watching brilliant students fail. I've been scolded on the use of 'bipolar' in this article. If you Google this title you'll find an extended discussion.
  • Why I am not a Professor: this was my equivalent to Robert Graves Goodbye to All That which he described as his "bitter leave-taking of England". This was my bitter leave-taking of academia; the tone is deservedly bleak. If you Google this you'll find discussion too.
  • In Defence of Open Science: this was prompted by a deletionist removal of my work from Wikipedia. I didn't put my stuff on Wikipedia, but the resulting bizarre discussion prompted me to write this piece.
  • The Shen of Shen: a series of aphorisms derived from Taoism and martial arts on programming as an art.

The next three were my take on the absurdities of the open source movement.