Tech Talk: Getting a Quick Fix on Comonads

  • Date Tuesday, July 08, 2014  Time
  • Speaker Kenneth Foner
  • Location Galois, Inc., 421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 300, Portland, OR (3rd floor of the Commonwealth Building)
  • Galois is pleased to host the following tech talk. These talks are free and open to the interested public--please join us! (There is no need to pre-register for the talk.)


While the monad abstraction has risen to a certain flavor of fame in the Haskell community and beyond, its equally fascinating dual, the comonad, remains relatively unknown. I’ll tell the tale of my exploration into comonadic structures and computation, which led me to the creation of a library for concisely and generically expressing efficient “spreadsheet-like” computations in infinite multi-dimensional spaces. Along the way, I’ll describe several theoretical and practical discoveries, including an elegant unification of absolute and relative references, a typed formulation of polymorphism over dimensionality, and the computational tractability of statically and dynamically analyzing lazy self-referential structures.


Kenneth Foner is a rising senior studying theoretical computer science in the undergraduate program at Brandeis University. This summer, he’s working at Galois on the design and implementation of a domain-specific language for secure multiparty computation. When he’s not thinking about type systems, he enjoys improvising on the clarinet, hiking in the mountains, and writing science fiction.