Monoids for everybody

Einar Høst

Lightning talk - in English

Words in programming are very strange. Some are incredibly familiar, yet largely meaningless, like "helper", "core", "util" and so forth. These are used everywhere. One that is unfamiliar to many programmers yet actually has a very precise meaning is "monoid". It sees little use. That's a shame, because it describes a concept that can be very useful when writing programs. It is easy to think that because it is unfamiliar, it must also be difficult to understand. But it is not. It is very straightforward. To summarize: the concept of a monoid is well-defined, easy to understand, and very useful. Better work on that familiarity! Hence this talk. I promise that after this talk, you will know what monoids are and how they can be useful in the context of programming. I could not have made the same promise for the other words mentioned in this abstract.