Online success for Nottingham programming course

07 Nov 2014 12:25:40.710

A computer science course from The University of Nottingham has been turned into a hugely popular online course attracting more than 30,000 participants.

Introduction to Functional Programmingteaches the basic principles of functional programming, using the leading-edge language Haskell. The course was developed by Professor Graham Hutton, Director of Research in Computer Science at The University of Nottingham, and co-leader of the Functional Programming research group. The course is based upon his bestselling Haskell textbook, which is used by students and lecturers worldwide.

Now, in response to increasing use of functional programming in the software industry, Erik Meijer, Honorary Professor of Programming Language Design at the University and Professor of Cloud Programming at TUDelft, has turned Professor Hutton’s course into a free massive open online course (MOOC) for the edX consortium. 

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Using Professor Hutton’s teaching materials, this online course has already attracted more than 30,000 participants in its first few days.

Professor Hutton said: “I’m delighted to see the course and textbook that I developed in Nottingham reaching such a large online audience.”

He added: “And it’s great for our students to know that so many people are interested in the course that they are being taught here.”

Honorary Professor Meijer said: “Functional languages are the future of programming, and it is imperative for modern software developers to understand the fundamentals of the functional approach.

“The pure functional language Haskell is the best medium to teach those fundamentals, and Professor Hutton’s course is the best way to learn Haskell.”

Further details are available from:

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university in the UK among graduate employers, in the top 10 for student experience according to the Times Higher Education and one of the world’s greenest universities

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from Professor Graham Hutton from the School of Computer Science at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 95 14220 or

Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email:  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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