Past Meetup

Recursive Functions of Symbolic Expressions and Their Computation by Machine

This Meetup is past

25 people went

Location image of event venue


The Paper:
As the first published paper describing the Lisp language, John McCarthy's 1960 paper "Recursive Functions of Symbolic Expressions..." introduces some familiar, and some maybe not familiar concepts of Lisp in their earliest form. This talk will take a look at concepts like M-expressions, S-expressions, functions, and forms, and will walk through McCarthy's definitions of core Lisp functions like apply and eval. We'll also discuss the paper's description of the computer representation and translation of Lisp and recursive functions.

The paper can be found here (

The Speaker:
Kevin Buchanan is a software developer at 8th Light, where he currently enjoys getting to write Lisp with Clojure every day.