Date: 02 Jun 2005

The Dys-functional student

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Functional languages liberate students from complex syntax, complex semantics and complex memory allocation; allowing them to concentrate on problem-solving. However, functional programming is not a universal panacea. Students still have problems with language features, program concepts and the legacy of the imperative paradigm. This paper aims to assist the lecturer asked to teach a functional language for the first time. We present typical student mistakes, attempt to explain why these mistakes arise, and propose possible remedies.