CSci 4651 Programming Languages - Syllabus

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The syllabus will be updated throughout the semester. Dates, topics, assigned reading, and problem set due dates will be added or might change. All changes in assigned reading and due dates will be announced in class (and occasionally by e-mail). While I will do my best to update the web site accordingly, it is a student's responsibility to keep track of the problem set due dates and reading assignments. If you are not sure about due dates, please don't hesitate to ask.

Reading assignments are listed for the day when the material is first explained in class. You may read the material ahead of the lecture or after, either way is fine.

There will be 5-7 short (15 minutes or so) in-class quizzes throughout the semester on recently covered material. The quizzes will not be announced in advance.

Quizzes, the midterm and the final exams are open book, open notes.

Note that the date for the midterm exam is set and will not change. If you have a conflict with this date, please let me know right away.

All reading is from John Mitchell "Concepts in Programming Languages", unless specified otherwise.

Problem set submission and grading; late problem sets

Problem sets can be submitted on paper or electronically. If a part of your problem set (say, a programming part) is submitted electronically, and a part is submitted on paper, make a note on each saying that this is a part of the submission. Electronic submissions can be sent by e-mail (acceptable formats: plain text, .doc, .pdf, .gz, .tgz, .jar, .jpeg, .gif; if your preferred format is not on this list, please check with me first). Sending a URL of the solution is not acceptable.

It is your responsibility to keep copies of your submitted programs until the problem set is graded, in case there are issues with formats.

Problem sets are due in the beginning of the class on the due date. Late penalty is 25% of the credit if the problem set is sumbitted at or before the next class meeting, 50% if submitted after that. Note that 25% penalty means that 25% of the total credit is subtracted from the score, and then points are subtracted for incorrect solutions (and similarly for 50% penalty).

Each student is allowed to use 2 late coupons throughout the entire semester. Each late coupon waves late penalty for 1 class meeting that the problem set is late. For instance, if a problem set is submitted 2 class meetings late and is accompanied by 2 late coupons, it's graded out of full credit. If it has only one late coupon, it's graded out of 75% credit. To use a late coupon, simply attach to your problem set a sheet with the follwoing information:

Since you only get two late coupons, use them wisely. No other extensions on problem sets will be given, unless exceptional circumstances occur.

Policies on Collaboration and Use of Resources

Problem sets and labs are individual work, unless otherwise stated. While it's perfectly OK (and is encouraged) to discuss the problem sets in general terms with others in the class, your solution must be your own work. Copying any part of another person's solution (even if you modify the code) is considered academic dishonesty and will be dealt with according to the university's policy.

If working in groups, the policy applies to only to collaboration with people not in your group.

Course topics and timeline

Monday Wednesday Friday
Week 1: January 16 - 20
Martin Luther King Day, no classes Introduction, course overview.
Reading: Ch. 1.
A brief history of programming languages. Language classification. Language processing (compilers, interpreters).
Reading: 4.1.1
Week 2: January 23 - 27
Reading: Ch. 2.
Problem set 1: computability. Due Wedn., February 1
Functional vs. imperative languages, overview of Lisp. Referential transparency.
Reading: Ch. 3 (we will be using Clojure instead of Scheme), 4.4; Paul Graham's article and resources on functional languages in industry (see Resources).
Introduction to Clojure. Box-and-pointer model.
Clojure practice (in the lab, second half of the class).
Week 3: January 30 - February 3
First-class functions in Clojure.
Sequences, lazy evaluation.
Clojure (cont).
Problem set 1 due.
Problem set 2: Clojure. Due Wedn., February 8.
Clojure and Java interops.
Week 4: February 6 - 10
Data Representation in Clojure. Discussion of the Paul Graham article.
Introduction to semantics of programming languages, lambda calculus.
Reading: 4.1, 4.2.
Problem set 2 due.
Problem set 3: Clojure. Due Wedn., February 15.
The lambda calculus (continue)
Week 5: February 13 - 17
Confluence of the lambda calculus.
Semantics-based reasoning about programs.
Problem set 3 due.
Problem set 4: the lambda calculus. Due Wedn., February 22.
Historic overview of "imperative" languages (Algol, Pascal, C), introduction to ML.
Reading: Ch. 5
Week 6: February 20 - 24
Introduction to O'Caml (a dialect of ML).
Introduction to ML types, ML assignment statement.
Problem set 4 due.
Problem set 4: ML. Due Wedn., February 29.
More on ML types; ML pattern-matching.
Week 7: February 27 - March 2
ML user-defined datatypes.
C and C++ datatypes and memory management.
Reading: TBA
Problem set 4 due.
Problem set 5: ML (cont.), C/C++. Due Wedn., March 7.
Type systems in programming languages. Type checking, type inference.
Reading: Ch. 6
Week 8: March 5 - 9
ML type inference in detail.
Type polymorphism.
Problem set 5 due.
Problem set 6: type inference, type polymorphism. Due Wedn., March 28.
Block-structured languages.
Reading: Ch. 7.
March 12 - 16. Spring break, no classes
Week 9: March 19 - 23
Review for the midterm.
Midterm exam. Covers the material up to Friday, March 2nd. Storage management for functions, parameter passing.
Week 10: March 26 - 30
Storage management for recursion, higher order functions.
Storage management (cont.).
Problem set 6 due.
Problem set 7: Storage management. Due Wedn., April 4.
Structured control.
Reading: Ch. 8.1, 8.2 (skipping 8.3, 8.4).
Week 11: April 2 - 6
Data abstraction and modularity.
Reading: Ch. 9.
Problem set 7 due.
Problem set 8: Structured control, exceptions. Due Wedn., April 11.
Modularity. Overview of Modula, Ada.
Week 12: April 9 - 13
Object-oriented languages.
Brief historic overview: Simula, Smalltalk, C++, Java.
Reading: Ch. 10.
Object-oriented languages: Ruby.
Reading: TBA
Problem set 8 due.
Problem set 9: modules; object-oriented languages. Due Wedn., April 18.
Ruby (cont.)
Week 13: April 16 - 20
C++ and its object-oriented features.
Reading: Ch. 12
Overview of Java
Object-oriented features in Java
Reading: Ch. 13.
Problem set 9 due.
Problem set 10: Ruby, C++. Due Wedn., April 25.
Java types and subtyping, Java system architecture
Week 14: April 23 - 27
Parameterized types. Java Generic types
Generic types in C#.
Reading: TBA.
Problem set 10 due.
Problem set 11: Java type system, genertic types. Due Wedn., May 2.
Concurrency, distributed programming. Clojure.
Reading: Ch. 14 (details TBA).
Week 15: April 30 - May 4
Clojure concurrency (cont)
Discussion and wrap-up.
Problem set 11 due.
Review for the final.
Last day to submit any late work.
Final exam: 1:30-3:30 Wedn. May 9th in Sci 2185

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