Category Theory

Last night I stopped by a meeting of the Bay Area Categories and Types group at Noisebridge in the Mission District of San Francisco. They’re using a text from Barr and Wells (which will be arriving soon). It’s nice to have the ability to continue exploring abstract concepts with a group.

I’ve been bumping into category theory repeatedly for many years, and it seems like something I’m going to have to master eventually.

A few years ago I recognized that one thing missing from all the computer science education I had received was a mathematical tool that allowed me to treat languages as objects. It only occurred to me after taking several classes on the syntax of natural languages. I had seen deep mathematical treatment of various aspects of languages, but none that allowed me to refer to a language with a symbol (except maybe as a set, as was the case in my undergrad formal languages class).

After dancing around the subject for years, it’s pretty clear that Category Theory is the tool that I’ve been looking for. I’m looking forward to exploring its concepts.

A colleague of mine sent me a couple of related links: A series of youtube posts from the “Catsters”

And a paper on physics & topology

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