Curry On
June 19-20th, 2017

The Joy of Vector Programming: Why Vector Programming Matters
Dave Thomas
Kx Systems



There is no greater joy than programming using a simple expressive language with a clear syntax and semantics. Lisp, Smalltalk, Haskell, Prolog, Unix pipes/Bash, Erlang, are likely the most well-known of such languages. Typically, such languages achieve their consistency and power by taking a strong position with respect to syntax and semantics. Hence each is often sighted as learn Lisp | Scheme | Racket or Haskell to understand functional programming; learn Smalltalk to understand objects; Erlang to understand concurrent programming/micro-services.

However, one’s computational experiences are in my opinion incomplete without exploring the world Vector programming, (also called Array programming) inspired by APL and followed by NIAL, J and k. In this talk we look at array programming; idioms; and most importantly vector thinking which enable concise expression efficient solutions.


Dave Thomas, Chief Scientist/CSO, Kx Systems, Co-Founder and past Chairman of Bedarra Research Labs (BRL), creators of the Ivy visual analytics workbench and ACM Distinguished Engineer. Founder and past CEO of Object Technology International (OTI), becoming CEO of IBM OTI Labs after its sale to IBM.

With a unique ability to see the future and translate research into competitive products, he is known for his contributions to Object Technology including IBM VisualAge and Eclipse IDEs, Smalltalk and Java virtual machines.

Dave is a popular, humorous, albeit opinionated keynote speaker with an impressive breadth of business experience and technical depth. He is a thought leader in large-scale software engineering and a founding director of the Agile Alliance.

With close links the R&D community Dave is an adjunct research professor at Carleton University in Canada and held past positions at UQ and QUT in Australia. He has been a business and technical advisor to many technology companies including Kx Systems.

Dave is founder and chairman of the YOW! Australia and Lambda Jam conferences, and is a GOTO Conference Fellow.