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Home | Seminars and Symposia | Past seminars/symposia: Wednesday, April 10, 2002

DTC Seminar Series

A Higher-Order Approach to Representing & Manipulating Symbolic Structure


Gopalan Nadathur
Computer Science and Engineering

Wednesday, April 10, 2002
1:00 pm

402 Walter Library

Slide presentation (pdf 189 KB) Symbolic computations such as those embedded in compilers and reasoning systems are based on what is known as the abstract syntax representation of the objects that are to be manipulated. The traditional understanding of abstract syntax pays attention to the recursive structure of objects but does not take into account their binding structure. A growing interest in the coordinated manipulation of a variety of formal objects such as programs, specifications, types and proofs has exposed the limitation of such representations and has led to the development of higher-order versions of abstract syntax. In this talk Professor Nadathur will examine some of the benefits of such enhanced representations and will also explore the programming support that is provided for it within a language called Lambda Prolog that he has invented.


Professor Gopalan Nadathur is on the faculty of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. He has previously held appointments at Duke University and the University of Chicago. His research interests are in the area of programming languages and computational logic. In past work, he has co-invented a higher order language called Lambda Prolog. This language pioneered a higher order approach to treating computations over formal objects such as programs, specifications and proofs and has been used as such in several research applications. Professor Nadathur has also investigated advanced implementation techniques for this language, an effort that has culminated recently in a virtual machine and compilation based realization. Professor Nadathur is active in the declarative programming community and, amongst other things, chairs the Steering Committee for the Conference on Principles and Practice of Declarative Programming.