EECS 598: Category Theory for Computer Scientists
- Lecture: Tuesday & Thursday, 9:30-11:30, 2153 G.G. Brown Laboratories
- Instructor: Max S. New
- Office: Beyster 4640
- uniqname: maxsnew
- Office Hours: Monday & Wednesday 4-5:30pm, remote
This graduate-level course is an introduction to category theory for computer scientists. Category theory is a branch of algebra that studies structures abstracting function composition. This field of abstract mathematics has found many uses in the theory of programming languages, especially typed functional programming and design and implementation of proof assistants. Our goal in this course is to get a basic understanding of category theory sufficient to understand applications in the theory of programming languages.
The primary text is Steve Awodey’s Category Theory, 2nd Edition.
We will also use as supplementary material, the freely available texts Category Theory in Context by Emily Riehl and Categorical Logic from a Categorical Point of View by Michael Shulman.
Office hours will be held twice weekly, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-5:30pm. For the time being, these will be remote office hours. You should use the queuing system to access office hours.
Your grade in the course will primarily be based on the homework assignments, given out every 1-2 weeks. Homeworks will unless otherwise stated be problem sets to be completed either handwritten or in pdf format, preferably using LaTeX. You will be graded on correctness and clarity of your work. Homeworks can be done in groups of two. You should not discuss your homework with anyone besides your partner and the instructor.
Late homeworks will not be accepted. If you need an extension talk to the professor. However the lowest two homework grades will be dropped.
The next major portion of your grade will be an in-class presentation of homework solutions at the end of certain lectures. These will start once the first homework is due. At the end of each class one or more students will present a solution from the previous assignment to the class.
Lectures will be recorded using lecture capture, available to be accessed on Canvas. I encourage you to attend class in person if possible. You will get much more out of the course if you attend and ask questions in class.
The precise breakdown of grading is as follows
|Activity||Percentage of final grade|
Schedule of Topics
Below is a tentative schedule of topics and associated readings for the semester. Besides the first lecture, you are expected to read the assigned readings prior to lecture.
|Meeting Date||Topic||Assigned Readings||HW|
|Thu, Jan 6||Course Overview, what is Category theory?||Awodey Ch 1.1-1.3, Riehl Examples 1.1.3 and 1.1.4|
|Tue, Jan 11||More Examples of Categories||Awodey Ch 1.4, Riehl Examples 1.3.2|
|Thu, Jan 13||Isomorphisms and Constructing Categories||Awodey Ch 1.5-1.6||PS 1 out, PS1 LaTeX|
|Tue, Jan 18||Free Categories as Syntax||Awodey Ch 1.7, Shulman Ch. 0, Ch. 1.1-1.2|
|Thu, Jan 20||Epimorphisms/monomorphisms, Initial/Terminal||Awodey Ch 2.1-2.3||PS 2 out, PS2 LaTeX|
|Tue, Jan 25||Initial/Terminal Objects, Products||Awodey Ch 2.4-2.7,|
|Thu, Jan 27||Duality||Awodey Ch 3||PS 3 out|
|Tue Feb 1||Syntax for Free Categories with X||Shulman Ch 1.4-1.6|
|Thu, Feb 3||Pullbacks||Awodey Ch 5.1-3||PS 4 out|
|Tue Feb 8||Limits and Colimits||Awodey Ch 5.4-5.6|
|Thu Feb 10||Exponentials||Awodey Ch 6.1-6.2||PS 5 out|
|Thu Feb 10||Cartesian Closed Categories in CS||Awodey Ch 6.3-6.6|
|Tue Feb 15||Cartesian Multicategories||Shulman Ch 2||PS 6 out|
|Thu Feb 17||Category of Categories||Awodey Ch 7.1-7.2|
|Tue Feb 22||Natural Transformations||Awodey Ch 7.4-7.5|
|Thu Feb 24||Functor Categories, Monoidal Categories||Awodey Ch 7.7-7.8|
|Tue Mar 8||Equivalence of Categories||Awodey Ch 7.9-7.10||PS 7 out|
|Thu Mar 10||Presheaves||Awodey 8.1-8.4|
|Tue Mar 15||Yoneda Lemma||Awodey 8.3-8.4|
|Thu, Mar 17||Higher-order Logic||Awodey 8.8||PS 8 out|
|Tue, Mar 22||Adjunctions||Awodey 9.1-9.2|
|Thu Mar 24||Examples of Adjunctions||Awodey 9.3-9.5|
|Tue Mar 29||Right Adjoints preserve limits||Awodey 9.6||PS 9 out|
|Thu Mar 31||Monads||Awodey 10.1-10.2|
|Tue, Apr 5||Algebras of Monads||Awodey 10.3-10.4|
|Thu, Apr 7||Monads in Programming||TBD||PS 10 out|
|Thu Apr 12||Inductive/Coinductive Types as Initial/Final Algebras||TBD|
|Thu Apr 14||Call-by-push-value||TBD|
|Tue Apr 19||Linear Logic||TBD|