John Backus Essay

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John Backus, a man who made lasting contributions to the field of technology as a computer scientist, was surprisingly described as a terrible student in high school and throughout his entire career as a student. After a delayed graduation, he attended college at the University of Virginia where he majored in chemistry, but eventually he stopped going to classes and got expelled. In 1943 he was drafted into the Army where he was put in charge of an anti‐aircraft crew, but an aptitude test showed he had promise in the medical field and soon after he was transferred to a medical training program; however, school still did not agree with him and he lasted less than a year. Eventually Backus did graduate with a Masters Degree in 1949 from Columbia University, and shortly before he graduated he found a …show more content…
His determination produced a function-level language, or FP for functional programming. FP was a style of programming that modeled computations as the evaluation of expressions, in contrast to the imperative programming that contained programs composed of statements which would change global state when executed. It was in 1977 that Backus first introduced this language to the public, in which during the lecture “Can Programming be Liberated from the Von Neumann Stype? A Functional Style and Its Algebra of Programs,” he proposed the FP. Functional Programming was able to provide better support for structured programming, and offered shorter programs that were easier to understand than the opposing imperative programs. The introduction of functional programming did not catch on since they are difficult to compile in an efficient form. In addition, FP is not suited for simple programming tasks: fetching data, updating it, and returning it to some database. However, even if Backus did not solve the original problem he has “posed the question beautifully did you die ur not

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