Dr Yusuf Motara

Dr Motara is a Senior Lecturer at Rhodes University.  While he does lecture occasionally, he prefers to teach.  His research interests include functional programming, modelling, software development, and computer science education.


Dr Motara teaches the following modules in 2023:

  • [CS2, first semester] Systems-level Programming
  • [CS3, first semester] Functional Programming
  • [CS3, first semester] Software Design and Practices
  • [CS Honours, second semester] Advanced Functional Programming


Dr Motara's research considers how to broaden the applicability of the functional paradigm.  Functional programming is a style of programming that values immutability and utilizes first-class functions to achieve surprisingly complex results with a minimum of code.  Some lines of research being pursued are:

  • Modelling functional programming.  A model is a representation of reality.  Models are used to reveal the design of a system, to specify semantics, to understand behaviour and structure, and to visualise and comprehend at high- and low-levels, among other things.
  • Software development.  Most software is developed in an object-oriented or imperative style, with no functional-style libraries available.  The reimagining of problem domains and the development of functional-style libraries can reveal fascinating aspects of a problem and lead to new techniques being understood or old techniques finding new applications.
  • Teaching programming.  The framework of Legitimation Code Theory can be used to add rigor to this area.  Despite many papers having been written on the teaching of programming, it is still very much an area of contention and open research.  Specific approaches that have worked in other areas, such as gamification, could lead to important insights.  A specific focus on functional programming is still an under-researched, though important groundwork has been laid by various members of the research community to remedy this.

These research tracks tackle different aspects of the problem of broadening the applicability of the functional paradigm, and cross-pollination between them is both possible and likely.

Contact Details

E-mail: Y.Motara@ru.ac.za
Phone: +27 46 603 8628
Location: Hamilton Building, Room 025

Last Modified: Tue, 24 Jan 2023 10:26:33 SAST