Online lecture downloads hit a quarter of a million

10 Nov 2009 11:34:00.000

PA 290/09

A computer science textbook from The University of Nottingham has been turned into a hugely popular online lecture series that has exceeded 250,000 downloads in its first five weeks.

Dr Graham Hutton, a Reader in Computer Science and co-leader of the Functional Programming Research Group in the University's School of Computer Science, has published a textbook on the novel programming language Haskell. Dr Hutton's best-selling book is used for teaching courses at Nottingham and many other universities worldwide.

Now, in response to growing interest in Haskell within the software industry, a weekly series of video lectures based on Dr Hutton's book is currently being delivered by Microsoft programming language designer Dr Erik Meijer. This started in October 2009.

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Using Dr Hutton’s teaching materials for the book, these lectures are proving hugely popular — they have already been downloaded over a quarter of a million times in just over one month.

Dr Hutton said: “I’m delighted to see the textbook and course that I developed in Nottingham reaching such a vast audience on the web via Microsoft’s lecture series.”

He added: “I’m sure it will be great motivation for our students to know that so many people are interested in the material they are being taught here.”

Microsoft’s Dr Meijer added: “As contemporary languages such as C#, Visual Basic, F#, Scala, etc are incorporating more and more concepts from programming language research, the functional programming style has become mainstream. As a result, programmers are hungry to learn more about the foundations of functional programming.

“The purely functional language Haskell is the best medium to teach those fundamentals, and Dr Hutton’s textbook is the best way to learn about Haskell.”

Further details about the lecture series are available from: 

— Ends —

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK’s Top 10 and the World’s Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.

The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain’s “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.

Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives ( in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Graham Hutton on +44 (0)115 951 4220 ,

Simon Butt

Simon Butt - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 982 32353 Location: University Park

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