Hi There!

I'm Dan Schlegel, an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at SUNY Oswego

CSC344 – Fall 2017

Programming Languages


Prof. Daniel R. Schlegel, 395 Shineman Center, daniel.schlegel@oswego.edu
Office/Lab hours: Monday 4pm-5pm; Tuesday 4pm-5pm; Friday 10am-11am
Section 810: TTh 2:20-3:40pm, Shineman 174

Course Description:

This course introduces programming language concepts including design, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, implementation, and evaluation. Students will become familiar with the different categories of languages, including procedural, functional, object-oriented, logic, and concurrent programming paradigms. Theoretical topics will be covered in class, and students will complete projects on their own in several languages. The intention is that after this course the student will be able to quickly begin using new languages simply from an understanding of the syntax and a list of concepts used in that language.

If you have not received a C- or better in both CSC241 and CSC221 I do not recommend taking this course. 


Required: Scott, Michael L., Programming Language Pragmatics 4e. Morgan Kaufmann, 2016
Recommended: Tate, Bruce, Seven Languages in Seven Weeks: A Pragmatic Guide to Learning Programming Languages. Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2010

Useful Resources:


C Tutorial at tutorialspoint
Advanced C Programming on Lynda.com


Clojure for the Brave and True 
Reference Materials at Clojure.org

Clojure API


Clojure on Lynda.com


Scala Tutorials
Scala for Java Programmers
Scala on Lynda.com


Using the SWI-Prolog REPL
SWI Prolog Reference Manual
Clocksin, W.F, and C.S. Mellish, Programming in Prolog 5e, 2003 – Chapter 1 (see Blackboard)
Prolog Tutorial


Python 2.7 Tutorial
Python 3 Tutorial
Python Projects on Lynda.com (includes Eclipse PyDev setup tutorial)

Attendance Policy and Classroom Etiquette:

As per college policy, attendance in all sessions is obligatory. If you cannot attend a class meeting due to religious, athletic, health related circumstance, or circumstance of particular hardship, please notify me in advance via email. Please be ready to present proof, if necessary. Cell phones and headphones should not be out or used during lecture, and laptops should only be used for taking notes (I don’t recommend this). If use of any electronics becomes districting to other students I reserve the right to discontinue the allowance of their use.


All assignments will be completed alone, but working together without writing or sharing code to come up with general solutions is encouraged. There will be 5 large projects, due typically two weeks after assignment. Each project will have an associated microproject, due before the larger project, meant to exhibit the use of some language features important to the larger project. The assignments are difficult, and I recommend starting work on them early, avoiding any tendency toward procrastination. You should plan on spending at least 10 hours per week on course work outside of class.


Projects must be satisfactorily demoed in person, then submitted on Blackboard, to receive any credit. Partial solutions will not receive any credit. The late penalty will be 5% per day. Microprojects must be submitted via Blackboard, and will not be accepted late (they do not need to be demoed).

It is expected that each person participate during each class. As discussed above, attendance is required.

Each exam question will be assigned a point value (generally some multiple of 3 depending on difficulty), where the following scheme will be used in grading it:

0 – Did not attempt / No serious attempt
1 – Mostly incorrect solution
2 – Somewhat incorrect solution
3 – Perfect solution

If the problem is a multiple of 3, then intermediate scores will be given as appropriate. The total points received on all questions will then be summed and divided by the points possible and scaled as appropriate according to the percentages given below.

Progress Reports5%
Midterm Exam10%
Final Exam20%

The default grading for the course will be along the university’s standard grading curve:

A: 93-100C+: 77-79
A-: 90-92C: 73-76
B+: 87-89C-: 70-72
B: 83-86D+: 67-69
B-: 80-82D: 60-66
 E: 0-59

A more generous curve may be used, but should not be expected.


During the semester we aim to cover the following topics:

Language Specification and Implementation
Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics
Names, Scope and Binding
Control Flow
Type Systems and Type Safety
Language Paradigms (including imperative, logic, functional, scripting, concurrent, and object oriented)

This syllabus and the course schedule are subject to change by the instructor. All changes and related justification will be announced in class, and updates will be reflected in this web version.

Lecture slides will be maintained on Blackboard, but many lectures will include use of the whiteboard which may not be reflected in notes elsewhere.

1Tuesday8/29First day of class
Syllabus, Overview
Remember to answer the office hours survey!
Readings: PLP Chapter 1
Thursday8/31No Live Class Meeting
How PLs Work (Panopto);
BNF and Parsing (Panopto)
Readings: PLP 2.1; C Tutorial
2Tuesday9/5No Live Class Meeting
C BNF and Operator Precedence (Panopto)
C Operator Precedence
Thursday9/7Add deadline
Pointers and Memory Allocation
C Pointer Demo
Assignment 1 due (demoed) 9/20;
Microproject due on Blackboard 9/11 11:59pm

Readings: PLP 3.1-3.2
3Tuesday9/12Heap Allocation & Garbage Collection
Java GC
Thursday9/14Progress Report 1
Functional Programming; Lambda Calculus
Readings: Chapter 1 of Introduction to Lambda Calculus
4Monday9/18Drop deadline
Tuesday9/19Clojure Introduction
Console Trace from Class
Readings: Begin reading Clojure for the Brave and True
Thursday9/21Rosh Hashanah - No Class
5Tuesday9/26Clojure Introduction Continued - Example Program: Monty Hall Problem Simulation
Substitute and Deep Substitute
Assignment 2 due (demoed) 10/9 10/11;
Microproject due on Blackboard 9/29 11:59pm
Thursday9/28Class Cancelled
6Tuesday10/3Names, Scopes, and Bindings Intro
Readings: PLP 3.3-3.6
Thursday10/5Progress Report 2
Declaration Scope
7Tuesday10/10Dynamic Scope
Scala Intro (A Scala Tutorial for Java Programmers)
Console Trace from Class
Readings: PLP 7.1-7.2
Thursday10/12Types & Type Systems
Optional Types
Assignment 3 due (demoed) 10/25 10/30;
Microproject due on Blackboard 10/17 11:59pm
8Tuesday10/17Type Checking
Propositions as Types by Philip Wadler
Readings: PLP Chapter 12, including the supplementary material.
Thursday10/19Midterm Exam
9Tuesday10/24Progress Report 3
Prolog / Logic Programming
Readings: Programming in Prolog Chapter 1 (on Blackboard)
Thursday10/26Prolog, cont'd
Friday10/27Withdraw deadline
10Tuesday10/31Prolog, concluded
Farmer, Goat, Wolf, Cabbage in Prolog
Assignment 4 due (demoed) 11/13 11/20;
Microproject due on Blackboard 11/5 11:59pm
Thursday11/2Object Orientation
Python's Kinds of Functions
11Tuesday11/7Concurrency (DL Guest Lecturing)
Dan at AMIA
Thursday11/9In-Class Work Period
12Tuesday11/14Python, contd.
Static vs. Dynamic Method Binding
Readings: PLP 10.4-10.6 (including supplemental material)
Thursday11/16Progress Report 4
Multiple Inheritance / Diamond Problem
The Story of Traits by Venkat Subramaniam
13Tuesday11/21Assignment 5 due 12/14, demoed by 4PM.
Microproject due 11/28, 11:59PM on Blackboard

12/14 is the last day any assignments will be accepted
Generics and Templates
Thursday11/23Thanksgiving Recess - No Class
14Tuesday11/28Scripting Languages (on Panopto)
Project Jigsaw Quick-Start
Packages - Common Lisp HyperSpec
A Crash Course in ML Modules
Signatures and Structures in ML
Some time to discuss and work on projects
15Tuesday12/5Progress Report 5
Thursday12/7Last day of class
Guy Steele & Richard Gabriel - 50 in 50
Final Exam Study Guide
Finals WeekTuesday12/12Final Exam, 2-4PM,
174 Shineman

Academic Integrity:

While it is acceptable to discuss general approaches with your fellow students, the work you turn in must be your own. You may not turn in code found on the internet. If you have any problems doing the assignments, consult the instructor. Please be sure to read the webpage, “Academic Integrity“, which spells out all the details of this, and related policies. See my page on plagiarism for an explanation of what I consider cheating.

Disability Statement:

If you have a disabling condition, which may interfere with your ability to successfully complete this course, please contact the Office of Disability Services at dss@oswego.edu and x3358.