Daniel P. Friedman

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Dr. Daniel Paul Friedman.
Fields Computer Science
Known for Programming Languages

Daniel Paul Friedman (born 1944) is a professor of Computer Science at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. His research focuses on programming languages, and he is a prominent author in the field.

With David Wise, Friedman wrote a highly influential paper on lazy programming, specifically on lazy streams (ICALP 1976). The paper, entitled "Cons should not evaluate its arguments," [1] is one of the first publications pushing for the exploration of a programming style with potentially infinite data structures and a form of programming that employs no computational effects (though programs may diverge). Over the 1970s, Friedman and Wise explored the topic in depth and also considered extensions to the world of parallel computing.

In the 1980s, Friedman turned to the study of Scheme. He explored the use of macros for defining programming languages; with Kohlbecker, Felleisen, and Duba, he co-introduced the notion of 'hygienic macros' in a 1986 LFP paper that is still widely cited today.[2] With Haynes and Wand, he simultaneously studied the nature of continuation objects, their uses, and the possibilities of constraining them.[3] Following that, Friedman and Felleisen introduced a lambda calculus with continuations and control operators.[4] Their work has spawned work on semantics, connections between classical logic and computation, and practical extensions of continuations.

Friedman is also a prolific textbook author. His first textbook, The Little LISPer, dates back to 1974 and is still in print in its fourth edition, now called The Little Schemer (with Felleisen). Friedman and Felleisen wrote three more "little" books in the 1990s: The Little MLer, The Seasoned Schemer, and A Little Java, A Few Patterns.

Friedman is also the lead author of Essentials of Programming Languages, a textbook on programming languages. As such, it changed the landscape of language textbooks in the 1980s, shifting the focus from surveys of languages to the study of principles via series of interpreters. Today's textbooks on this topic tend to follow this organization, employing operational semantics and type theory instead of interpreters. Like The Little LISPer, Essentials of Programming Languages is a long-living book and is in its third edition now.

Most recently, Friedman resumed work on his "Little" series with The Reasoned Schemer (with Byrd and Kiselyov), explaining logic programming via an extension of Scheme.


  1. ^ Friedman, Daniel P. (1976). "Cons should not evaluate its arguments". ICALP. 
  2. ^ Friedman, Daniel P. (1986). "Hygienic Macros". ACM Lisp and Functional Programming. 
  3. ^ Friedman, Daniel P. (1984). "Constraining Control". ACM Principles of Programming Languages. 
  4. ^ Friedman, Daniel P. (1986). "Reasoning with Continuations l". IEEE Logic in Computer Science. 


Daniel P. Friedman is the author or co-author of the following books:

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