Frank Pfenning


15-122 Principles of Imperative Computation
Spring 2011: 10 Units, TuTh 9:00-10:20, GHC 4401
For students with a basic understanding of programming (variables, expressions, loops, arrays, functions). Teaches imperative programming and methods for ensuring the correctness of programs. Students will learn the process and concepts needed to go from high-level descriptions of algorithms to correct imperative implementations, with specific application to basic data structures and algorithms. Much of the course will be conducted in a subset of C amenable to verification, with a transition to full C near the end. This course prepares students for 15-213 and 15-210.



15-816 Modal Logic
Modal logic is the study of the laws of inference for judgments such as "it is necessary that", "it is possible that", "K knows that", "K affirms that", etc. Its roots lie in philosophy and linguistics, but it has a suprisingly rich variety of applications in computer science. This course provides a thorough introduction to both classical and intuitionistic modal logic, with an emphasis on applications in computer science. This class will study the proof theory and meta theory of modal logics, and present the foundations for practical proof procedures.
15-411/611 Compiler Design
This course covers the design and implementation of compiler and runtime systems for high-level languages, and examines the interaction between language design, compiler design, and runtime organization. Topics covered include lexical and syntactic analysis, handling of user-defined types and type-checking, context analysis, code generation and optimization, and memory management and runtime organization.
15-317 Constructive Logic
A junior-level introduction to constructive logic and its applications in computer science. The course will cover the philosophical origins, the mathematical properties, and numerous applications of constructive logic. The topics include intuitionistic logic, functional programming, type theory, logic programming, intuitionistic linear logic, and constructive modal logic. Previously cross-listed as 80-317/617 in the Department of Philosophy and number 15-399 in Computer Science.
15-213 Introduction to Computer Systems
This course provides a programmer's view of how computer systems execute programs, store information, and communicate. It enables students to become more effective programmers, especially in dealing with issues of performance, portability and robustness. It also serves as a foundation for courses on compilers, networks, operating systems, and computer architecture, where a deeper understanding of systems-level issues is required. Topics covered include: machine-level code and its generation by optimizing compilers, performance evaluation and optimization, computer arithmetic, memory organization and management, networking technology and protocols, and supporting concurrent computation.
15-819K Logic Programming
Logic programming is a paradigm where computation arises from proof search in a logic according to a fixed, predictable strategy. It thereby unifies logical specification and implementation in a way that is quite different from functional or imperative programming. This course provides a thorough, modern introduction to logic programming. It consists of a traditional lecture component and a project component. The lecture component introduces the basic concepts and techniques of logic programming followed by successive refinement towards more efficient implementations or extensions to richer logical concepts. We plan to cover a variety of logics and operational interpretations. The project component will be one or several projects related to logic programming.
15-815 Automated Theorem Proving
This course provides a thorough, hands-on introduction to automated theorem proving. It consists of a traditional lecture component and a joint project in which we will construct a theorem prover. The lecture component introduces the basic concepts and techniques of logic followed by successive refinement towards more efficient implementations. The basic theorem proving paradigms we plan to cover are tableaux and the inverse method, both of which are applicable to classical and non-classical logics. In addition we will cover equational reasoning and cooperating decision procedures.
Prerequisites: For undergraduates an undergraduate logic course or 15-312. No prerequisites for graduate students.
15-312 Foundations of Programming Languages
This course discusses in depth many of the concepts underlying the design, definition, implementation and use of modern programming languages. Formal approaches to defining the syntax and semantics are used to describe the fundamental concepts underlying programming languages. A variety of programming paradigms are covered such as imperative, functional, logic, and concurrent programming. In addition to the formal studies, experience with programming in the languages is used to illustrate how different design goals can lead to radically different languages and models of computation.
Prerequisites: 15-212 Principles of Programming.
15-462 Computer Graphics
This course provides a basic introduction to Computer Graphics. Some undergraduate follow-up courses such as and Computer Animation are offered on a regular basis.
Prerequisites: 15-213 Introduction to Computer Systems, 21-241 Matrix Algebra, 21-259 Calculus in Three Dimensions, or equivalents.
15-816 Linear Logic
This graduate course provides an introduction to linear logic with an emphasis on its applications in computer science. This includes the theory of functional, logic and imperative programming languages. We will also develop a linear type theory which will serve as a meta-language in which the theory of programming languages with state can be formalized effectively. An implementation of the type theory may be available for practical experiments later in the semester.
Prerequisite: General familiarity with functional programming and logic.
15-851 Computation and Deduction
This introductory graduate course explores the theory of programming languages using deductive systems. Throughout the course we use the Twelf system to specify languages, implement algorithms, and prove meta-theorems. A textbook to be published by Cambridge University Press is in preparation.
15-453 Formal Languages, Automata and Computation
A senior-level introduction to formal languages, automata, computability, and complexity.
15-212 Fundamental Structures of Computer Science II
A sophomore-level introduction to advanced programming techniques using Standard ML.
15-810 Advanced Topics Theory: Proofs and Programs
A graduate level introduction to constructive logic, proofs, and programs.
  • Spring 1993, co-taught with Wilfried Sieg and Stanley Wainer, Department of Philosophy
  • Spring 1988
21-127 Introduction to Modern Mathematics
Undergraduate (freshman level) introduction to discrete mathematics using the Mathematica symbolic computation system.
  • Fall 1995, teaching assistant to Michael Albert, Department of Mathematics.
15-810 Advanced Topics Theory: Typed Lambda-Calculus
Graduate introduction to typed lambda-calculi and their relation to programming languages.
  • Spring 1990, co-taught with Robert Harper
15-810 Advanced Topics Theory: Programming Languages and Type Theory
Graduate introduction to functional programming and type theory.
  • Spring 1989
15-810 Advanced Topics Theory: Inferential Programming
Graduate seminar on formal program development and program transformation.
  • Fall 1986, co-taught with Eugene Rollins
Theory of Computation
Undergraduate (senior level) course on automata, formal languages, and computation.
  • Spring 1982, co-taught with Dale Miller.

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Frank Pfenning