Applied Category Theory Course – Videos

Yay! David Spivak and Brendan Fong are teaching a course on applied category theory based on their book, and the lectures are on YouTube! Here are the first two videos:

Their book is free here:

• Brendan Fong and David Spivak, Seven Sketches in Compositionality: An Invitation to Applied Category Theory.

If you’re in Boston you can actually go to the course. It’s at MIT January 14 – Feb 1, Monday-Friday, 14:00-15:00 in room 4-237.

They taught it last year too, and last year’s YouTube videos are on the same YouTube channel.

Also, I taught a course based on the first 4 chapters of their book, and you can read my “lectures”, see discussions and do problems here:

So, there’s no excuse not to start applying category theory in your everday life!

2 Responses to Applied Category Theory Course – Videos

1. David Horgan says:

Thanks for this I’m looking forward to reading the book and following the course.

2. Ishi Crew says:

Some people i know don’t eat eggs, butter, sugar, or flour, so i wonder if the formalism can be adapted to other recipes, or whether it is domain or semantic-specific. (My impression is syntax tends to be non-specific—you can have ‘graph grammars’, ‘pattern languages’ (alexander, Grenander), L-systems (phylottaxis) …)

I showed one ‘leader’ of a group i’m sort of involved with the introductory lecture on the earth system. He’s more familiar with ‘systems dynamics’ formalism of Jay forester/Donella meadows, but he agreed the graphs if not terminology were quite similar. (he’s an IT type person so he probably speaks ‘python’ ).

He had a diagram for local city system dynamics (‘DC’—locally called ‘divided and conquered’, ‘diverse city’ , ‘dis chord’, and more ). .

My diagram i view as more general—i start with the universe, then break it up into continents and countries, then bioregions and states and cities, then neighborhoods (i live in what is called a ‘poverty pocket’–the remaining semi-affordable area around here with all the costs and benefits.

It was 0 degrees F windchill here yesterday and there was what seemed to be a full moon and there was still snow down in the park—down there there was 12-15 inches, while up here maybe 10 inches. ‘microclimates’. there are a few rare plant species down there too–club mosses (2 kinds), orchids (1) and 1 kind of rare ‘umbrella’ tree, and a few hemlocks.). Tomorrow its going to hit 50F they say. It was well below zero in some of my other areas i cant easily get to (no car).

maybe these video lectures combined with the online written course and book may make this field more understandable. (a relative of mine graduated from mit last year but she wasn’t into theoretical physics much less categroy theory–she’s into ‘data analytics’.)

i do wish there were people around here who would be willing to spend 1-3 hours a week looking at this stuff, and also do applications. more people around here have jobs, families, activities (sports, music, hiking, lobbying…) and lots of protests—i didnt go to any this year–but there was native american march, women’s march, right to life (which doesn’t apply to people on, say, death row), and MLK. there is ‘polar bear plunge’ coming up on carbon taxes and solar. i’ve been in that river in january before but i’m not planning to do that—if i go its more like to be up in west virginia where its calmer and cleaner. they do the polar bear plunge where there is a Casino.

I hope all these materials will stay on WWW —which to me is the modern version of a library.

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