Class Tu/Th 1:25 - 2:45 p.m. in GHC 5222
Recitation F 1:25 - 2:15 p.m.. in DH 1112
aldrich at cs dot cmu dot edu
Office hours: Tuesday 5-6pm, or by appointment
For appointments outside of office hours, email the instructor.
TA Bradley Teo
Office hours: Wednesdays 5-6pm in the carrels on GHC level 5
This course provides a broad and pragmatic foundation in the most basic tool of the programmer: programming languages. It starts with the fundamentals of syntax, parsing, and binding, the core structural concepts in programming languages. The course will then cover program semantics and type systems, and students will learn to relate them with a type soundness theorem. Finally, a coverage of intermediate optimization and code generation offers the opportunity to discuss both producing efficient code and reasoning about the correctness of program transformations. Assignments involve a combination of tool-assisted formal reasoning and proofs about programming languages, and implementing these language constructs in a compiler.
Prerequisites. Programming maturity and knowledge of reasoning about programs equivalent to passing 15-150, and mathematical maturity equivalent to passing either 15-251 or 21-228). Students with substantial math and programming experience who have not satisfied the specific prerequisites can contact the instructor for permission to enroll.
Requirements Satisfied.This course fulfills the Logic and Languages constrained elective category for the Computer Science major.
Why take this course?
- Programming Languages and Compilers are fundamental to programming, and you can learn about both in one course. By understanding the semantics of languages, you become a better programmer. After understanding how languages are compiled, you will be able to use them better. And it's not unlikely that you'll need to design a little language yourself someday--a scripting language or configuration for your application, for example--so it's good to know how to do it well!
- Learn the theory of languages, with the help of an educational tool. Programming language semantics and type theory is beautiful and fundamental not only to programming but even to the foundations of mathematics. While it sometimes has a reputation for being inaccessible, I've designed a tool called SASyLF that is easy to use and helps you get your proofs right. It's been used successfully at several universities--students like it and we believe it helps make these topics easier and more rewarding!
- Our pragmatic approach positions language and compiler concepts in the setting of industrial languages. We'll cover foundational ideas like the lambda calculus, but we understand that many students want to apply those ideas to languages familiar to them. This course will focus on covering fundamental ideas as they come up in widely-used languages, both making the ideas concrete and also ensuring that what you learn is relevant to your career as a computer scientist or software developer.
How does this course compare to CMU's other PL/compilers courses?
First of all, CMU has an amazing selection of courses in this area-you can't go wrong! But this course has some differences that make it a particularly great match for some students:
- Compared to 15-411 Compiler Design, this course involves less programming and more proofs (this is true of all Logic and Languages courses, since learning about rigorous proofs is one of the goals of the category). It gives up some depth specifically on compilation, but in exchange includes more programming language and type system content. And don't worry, half of the assignments are programming-you'll still build a compiler!
Course Syllabus and PoliciesThe syllabus covers course learning objectives, supplemental textbooks, assessments, late work policy, and policies.
|Date||Topic and Slides||Additional Reading or Code||Assignments Due|
|Aug 30||Course introduction||PLP, chapter 1|
|Sep 1||Syntax and Lexical Analysis||PLP, chapter 2 through 2.2; in-class exercise||HW0: Warmup|
|Sep 2||RecitationImplementing lexical analysis|
|Sep 6||Binding||PLP, chapter 3; in-class exercise|
|Sep 8||Inductive definitions and proofs||04-formal.pdf; in-class exercise||HW1: Lexical analysis|
|Sep 9||RecitationThe SASyLF Proof Assistant||04-formal-sasylf.pdf|
|Sep 13||Dynamic semantics: Big-step||lecture05-big-step.pdf; in-class exercise|
|Sep 15||Dynamic semantics: Small-step||small-step.pdf; in-class exercise||HW2: Inductive proofs|
|Sep 16||RecitationDynamic semantics practice|
|Sep 20||Top-Down Parsing||PLP section 2.3; in-class exercise|
|Sep 22||Bottom-Up Parsing||in-class exercise and reference sheet||HW3: Dynamic Semantics|
|Sep 23||RecitationParsing implementation|
|Sep 27||Typing rules||09-typing.pdf; in-class exercise|
|Sep 29||Type Soundness||10-soundness.pdf; in-class exercise||HW4 checkpoint|
|Sep 30||RecitationMidterm review|
|Oct 4||Type Soundness - Preservation||new draft of PLP chapter 4 (CMU only); in-class exercise||HW4: Parsing|
|Oct 6||Type Checking||PLP chapter 7|
|Oct 7||RecitationStatic semantics practice|
|Oct 11||Mid-semester exam 1|
|Oct 13||Composite Types||PLP Chapter 8||HW5: Static semantics|
|Oct 14||RecitationMidterm discussion|
|Oct 25||Semantics of Objects||PLP chapter 10|
|Oct 27||Implementation of Objects||PLP chapter 10||HW6 checkpoint|
|Oct 28||No class - Tartan Community Day|
|Nov 1||Code generation||PLP chapter 15; Notes on WebAssembly||HW6: Typechecking|
|Nov 3||Lowering||Notes on Lowering|
|Nov 4||Recitation Code generation practice|
|Nov 8||Local Optimization and Correctness||PLP chapter 17; Notes on Optimization Correctness; in-class exercise||HW7 checkpoint|
|Nov 10||Global Optimization||in-class exercise||HW7: Code generation|
|Nov 11||Recitation Optimization and correctness practice|
|Nov 15||Control Flow||PLP chapters 6 and 9; in-class exercise|
|Nov 17||Garbage collection||HW8: Translation correctness|
|Nov 18||RecitationProject discussion|
|Nov 22||Loop optimizations||Project Proposal|
|Nov 24||No class - Thanksgiving break|
|Nov 25||No Recitation - Thanksgiving break|
|Nov 26||The Curry-Howard Isomorphism||see Frank Pfenning's excellent lecture notes|
|Nov 28||Register allocation and Instruction Scheduling|
|Nov 29||Recitation2nd midterm review|
|Dec 6||Midterm exam 2|
|Dec 8||Programming languages and compilers research|
|Dec 9||Recitation2nd midterm post-review|
|TBD (finals week)||Project presentations||Project presentations and final deliverables|