The Ursala System for Scientific Computation

Advanced Programming Specialist Group Event.

Thursday 12th February 2009, 6.00pm

The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2 7HA. The nearest underground stations are Covent Garden and Charing Cross.

Dr Dennis Furey
London South Bank University

This seminar will give an overview of a functional programming language called Ursala developed as a research tool at London South Bank University and used extensively in circuit analysis, mathematical finance, and data visualization applications.

The language has some distinctive features that may be of interest to scientific and mathematical users, such as convenient interfaces to various industry standard mathematical libraries and applications, and powerful, high level operations for manipulation of large datasets. Functional programming enthusiasts might see it as an alternative to the mainstream, with its weak typing and emphasis on a terse, combinatorial programming style.

Aside from a technical overview, some other questions raised by this work will also be addressed with the benefit of hindsight. Is it appropriate for a programming language design to innovate rather than striving only to consolidate current best practices? Are any fundamental improvements purely in matters of notation possible, necessary, or desirable? Does allowing extreme flexibility and customization in a language yield diminishing returns? More generally, is the relationship between the compiler writer and the application programmer necessarily adversarial?

Free, but to gain admission please e-mail your name to our Vice-Chairman, Dr Frank Martin, at -

CPD Value:
Half unit

View the slides for this event (PDF - 331 kb)