A Tutorial Introduction to the Lambda Calculus

This paper is a short and painless introduction to the Lambda calculus. Originally developed in order to study some mathematical properties of effectively computable functions, this formalism has provided a strong theoretical foundation for the family of functional programming languages. We show how to perform some arithmetical computations using the Lambda calculus and how to define recursive functions, even though functions in Lambda calculus are not given names and thus cannot refer explicitly to themselves.


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Introduction to the Lambda Calculus