The high school computer science curriculum is entrenched in old, boring programming languages. Students have no idea of the diversity of programming paradigms out there: from functional, to array-based, to knowledge-based programming. Most have never even heard of pattern matching, macros, or higher-order functions! We want to change this.
With the help of innovative companies who make use of non-mainstream languages to beat the averages, we are hosting a programming language conference to do exactly that, led by and designed for high school students. As programming guru Alan Perlis once said, “A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming, is not [one] worth knowing.” We promise that if you attend Paradigm Conf 2022, your programming worldview will be flipped upside down!
What is a hackathon?
A hackathon is an opportunity for students of all ages who are interested in CS to come together, solve hard problems, and build cool things. Paradigm Conf is unique among hackathons for using exclusively functional, array, and knowledge-based languages! So the things we build will be even cooler than you're used to!
What is MLH?
Major League Hacking (MLH) is an organization that helps students organize hackathons. As a MLH member event, we work with the MLH team to deliver you the best experience possible. This also means we enforce the MLH Code of Conduct.
Where and when?
Paradigm Conf is a virtual, three-day conference running from September 23-25.
Who can attend?
All middle schoolers and high schoolers from anywhere in the world are elligible! We also encourage interested college students to attend. However, we ask that only college students who have not taken a class involving one or more of these languages register. If you do not fit this critera, but would still like to get involved, reach out to us about becoming a mentor.
How do I form a team?
You can either register with a team in advance, or register solo. Since we embrace collaboration, everyone will have the opportunity to join a team once the conference starts, even if you registered solo!
What is the event schedule?
The first day will feature a classical coding competition, where teams must do their best to solve ten programming problems which progress in difficulty before the end of the day. The next two days will be more of a traditional hackathon, consisting of talks, workshops, and the opportunity to build a cool piece of software responding to a prompt.
Will there be prizes and swag?
Is every monad a monoid? YES! Each participant will receive a sticker and T-shirt, no matter where you live. Additional swag can be won at workshops, and winners of either the coding competition or hackathon for each language track will receive some awesome goodies, including both software AND hardware.
What is a language track?
All teams must use one of the five following languges during the three-day conference:
Clojure: A modern-day Lisp, Clojure is all about making functional programming cool again. If you think you know how to program, we dare you: try Clojure.
Haskell: The first functional programming language, Haskell is as pure as you can get! If you're into math, provable safety, type theory, and elegant one-liners, then Haskell is the way to go!
APL: Have you ever wondered what it would be like to program with hieroglyphics? Meet APL, a language so terse that it condenses entire algorithms into a single character!
OCaml: Haskell's more rebellious twin, OCaml is a mix of functional, object-oriented, and imperative programming. A good starting point for new initiates to the functional programming world!
Wolfram Language: The only real knowledge-based programming language out there, the Wolfram language has a function to do literally anything (yes, even generate memes).
How can I stay engaged?
You can find us on the following platforms. Don't be a stranger!
Rohan Mehta, Founder
I'm a ML researcher, synbio enthusiast, and functional programming evangelist! Check out my personal website here.
Maria Delgado, APL Lead
I'm passionate about mathematics, science and programming. I love learning, teaching, and doing research in these fields!
Anthony Lee, Wolfram Language Lead
I'm a sophomore at Milton Academy in MA who loves math and physics, especially number theory and topology.
Aman Burman, Haskell Lead
I'm a junior from Dubai, with passions in astrophysics, cosmology and CS. Check out my cool projects here.
José Núñez Sánchez, Clojure Lead
I'm a high school student from Spain who is passionate about mathematics and guitar.
Rafeek Cherradi, Wolfram Language Lead
I’m a rising junior who is passionte about quantum and high-energy physics and engineering, and an enthusiast of teaching STEM!
Monica Sing, Haskell Lead
I’m an IBDP student who loves pure math and theoretical physics. I’m working towards a future career as a mathematical physicist.
Jewel Kislin, OCaml Lead
I’m a rising senior in PA who is interested in mathematics, physics, programming, and photography.
Rushank Goyal, Wolfram Language Lead
I'm a rising senior and published researcher passionate about the intersection of AI and the life sciences.
World Science Festival
Art of Problem Solving
Note: if you are looking for the EsoLang Conference, you came to the right place! We have rebranded as the Paradigm Conference, since this better describes us and the languages we are focusing on. Real esolangs are languages that are not really meant to be useful. Here, we are exploring how alternative programming paradigms can be used as tools of thought.