Mathematica 9 is now available

Wolfram Library Archive

Courseware Demos MathSource Technical Notes
All Collections Articles Books Conference Proceedings

The Mathematica Programmer: Combinators

Roman Maeder
Organization: Wolfram Research, Inc.
Department: Kernel Technology
Journal / Anthology

The Mathematica Journal
Year: 1995
Volume: 5
Issue: 4
Page range: 35-41

Combinators are an alternative to pure functions. They do not use variables and are, therefore, immune to the scoping problems caused by conflicts of names of formal parameters. We present an introduction to combinatory algebras and show how to convert pure functions into combinators. The implementation of these ideas requires control of the order of substitutions in rewrite rules. We discuss the techniques needed to achieve this control.

*Applied Mathematics > Computer Science