Hi There!

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

CSC344 – Spring 2018

Programming Languages


Prof. Daniel R. Schlegel, 395 Shineman Center, daniel.schlegel@oswego.edu
Office/Lab hours: Thursday 9:30-11:30am; Friday 12:30-1:30pm; by appointment
Section 810: MWF 3:00-3:55pm, Shineman 444

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. 

Course Objectives: 

To write programs in each of several languages primarily supporting different approaches to programming
To write programs to process some representation of code for some purpose, such as an interpreter, an expression optimizer, or a documentation generator
To use the specifications of a given language to determine the syntax and semantics of supported constructions
To explain and follow the rules governing the use of a given type in a given language
To obtain the effects of constructions of one language in other languages
To identify coding errors that lead to insecure programs in non-type-safe languages
To choose among language-supported approaches to concurrency in a given context, including data-parallelism, message-passing, and explicit threads with shared mutable state


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 and Semantics
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.

1Monday1/22First day of class
Syllabus, Overview
Readings: PLP Chapter 1
Be sure to answer office hours survey!
Wednesday1/24Overview (concluded)
How PLs work
Friday1/26How PLs Work (concluded)
BNF and Parsing
Readings: PLP 2.1; C Tutorial
2Monday1/29C BNF and Operator Precedence
C Operator Precedence
Wednesday1/31Add deadline
Memory Allocation - Stack, Static; Some Basic C Concepts
Class Code
Friday2/2Heap Allocation; Pointers in C
Assignment 1 due (demoed) 2/16;
Microproject due on Blackboard 2/7, 11:59pm
3Monday2/5Heap Allocation; Garbage Collection
Java G1 GC
Wednesday2/7Snow Day!
Friday2/9Drop deadline
Progress Report 1
Functional Programming Introduction
4Monday2/12Lambda Calculus; Begin Clojure Introduction
Wednesday2/14Clojure Introduction, continued
Console Trace
Example Project: Monty Hall Simulation
Friday2/16Substitute and Deep Substitute
Assignment 2 due (demoed) 3/2 3/5;
Microproject due on Blackboard 2/21 2/23, 11:59pm
5Monday2/19Class Cancelled
Readings: PLP 3.3-3.6
Wednesday2/21Names, Scopes, and Bindings Intro;
Static Scope
Friday2/23Class Cancelled
6Monday2/26Progress Report 2
Declaration Scope
Wednesday2/28Dynamic Scope
Scala Intro (Scala for Java Programmers)
Reading: PLP pgs.69-78
Friday3/2Recursive Descent Parsers
Parser Combinators
Class Code
Reading: PLP Chapter 7
7Monday3/5Types Introduction
Assignment 3 due (demoed) 3/26 by the end of office hours 3/29; Microproject due on Blackboard 3/19
Wednesday3/7Type Inference
Friday3/9Midterm Exam
8Monday3/12No Class - Spring Break
Wednesday3/14No Class - Spring Break
Friday3/16No Class - Spring Break
9Monday3/19Propositions as Types by Philip Wadler
Readings: PLP Chapter 12, including the supplementary material.
Wednesday3/21Progress Report 3
Prolog / Logic Programming
Friday3/23Prolog, continued
Backtracking, lists
Reading: Begin looking at the Prolog Tutorial
10Monday3/26Prolog, continued
Negation by failure, recursion patterns, unification
Wednesday3/28Solving logic problems with Prolog
Farmer, Goat, Wolf, Cabbage in Prolog
Reading: Chapter 10 through the end of 10.2
Assignment 4 due (demoed) 4/11 4/20;
Microproject due on Blackboard 4/3, 11:59pm
Friday3/30No Class - Easter Weekend
11Monday4/2Object Orientation Intro
Generics / Templates
Withdraw Deadline
Wednesday4/4No Class - Quest Day
Friday4/6Inheritance and Method Binding
Reading: PLP 10.4-10.6
12Monday4/9Progress Report 4
Multiple Inheritance
Wednesday4/11Work Day
Friday4/13Mixins and Traits
Traits in Scala
Class Composition with Mixins in Scala
13Monday4/16Python Introduction
Wednesday4/18Assignment 5 due (demoed) 5/11, 4PM;
Microproject due 4/25, 11:59PM

Scripting Languages
Friday4/20Scripting Languages, Continued
14Monday4/23Work Day
Wednesday4/25No Class
Friday4/27Concurrency / Parallelism
15Monday4/30Progress Report 5
Wednesday5/2Guy Steele & Richard Gabriel - 50 in 50
Friday5/4Last day of class
Guy Steele & Richard Gabriel - 50 in 50, concluded.
Final Exam Study Guide
Finals WeekWednesday5/9Final Exam 2-4pm, 444 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.