CS 5510/6510: Programming Languages
Fall 2017   TTh 12:25-1:45   WEB 1230
Matthew Flatt (mflatt@cs.utah.edu), Instructor
Maryam Dabaghchian (maryam@cs.utah.edu), TA
Schedule/Homework Page


This course is about the principles of programming languages. We will study programming language concepts by using them in programs, and by implementing interpreters. By the end of the course, you will have learned about many possible choices in the design of a programming language; this knowledge will be helpful in understanding new languages as you encounter them in your programming future.

The course requires lots of programming, and we assume that you have considerable programming experience already. On occassion, you will be asked to show and explain your code during lecture time.

Programming assignments will typically use Racket. We use Racket for three reasons. First, Racket can express the language concepts that we will study in an especially succinct manner. Second, Racket is simple enough that you can learn it in a relatively short time. Third, Racket is flexible enough that we can change the language to to gain experience with different language constructs (including constructs that are not normally part of Racket).

For a detailed list of topics covered by the course, see the schedule for last fall.


The course will used the following textbook much of the time:

 Programming Languages: Application and Interpretation, Second Edition
Shriram Krishnamurthi
 Also available as PDF

As an extra resource, you may want to consult the first edition.

Course Schedule and Homework

Schedule/Homework Page

The course schedule page contains a tentative schedule, which will be revised throughout the semester. Reading assignments, handouts, and notes for each lecture will be posted on the schedule page.

Homework assignments and solutions are also attached to the schedule page. Homework is typically assigned weekly, and it is usually due the following week, but there will be exceptions.

Programming Environment

We'll use the DrRacket programming environment, version 6.9 or later.


Course Communication

Announcement from the teaching staff will be posted on Canvas.

To ask questions, either contact the teaching staff through Canvas (preferred) or send e-mail.

Office Hours

The TA will be available at regular hours in the CADE lab. The instructor also holds a regular office hour, but students are encouraged to send e-mail to the instructor to schedule an appointment for other times.

Monday3:00pm-5:00pm  MEB 3115Maryam
Wednesday3:00pm-5:00pm  MEB 3115Maryam
Thursday9:30am-10:30am  MEB 3256Matthew (email to make sure)
Friday11:30am-1:30pm  MEB 3115Maryam

Grading, Cooperation, and Cheating

Homeworks is graded on the following scale: check++ = 110% for perfect work plus extra credit, check+ = 100% for nearly perfect work, check = 80% for somewhat flawed but acceptable work, check- = 50% for seriously flawed work, and 0 = 0% for missing or completely unacceptable work. All homework assignments are weighted equally.

Exams are graded on a scale of 0 to 100 points.

A final assignment will be similar to a homework assignment, but larger, and the handin process will be a meeting with the instructor. The final assignment serves much the same role as a final exam.

Final grades will be calculated by combining homework and exam grades as follows:

Homework 55%
Mid-term 1 15%
Mid-term 2 15%
Final assignment 15%

Late policy: Homework submissions will be accepted up to 48 hours after the deadline. For each student, up to two late homework submissons will be accepted without penalty. After a student's first two late submissions, a late submission within 24 hours of the deadline will be penalized 25%. A submission more than 24 hours late but less than 48 hours late will be penalized 50%.

Collaboration policy:

Working with others on assignments is a good way to learn the material and we encourage it. However, there are limits to the degree of cooperation that we will permit.

When working on programming assignments, you must work only with others whose understanding of the material is approximately equal to yours. In this situation, working together to find a good approach for solving a programming problem is cooperation; listening while someone dictates a solution is cheating. You must limit collaboration to a high-level discussion of solution strategies, and stop short of actually writing down a group answer. Anything that you hand in, whether it is a written problem or a computer program, must be written in your own words. If you base your solution on any other written solution, you are cheating.

When taking a quiz or exam, you must work completely independently of everyone else. Any collaboration here, of course, is cheating.

We do not distinguish between cheaters who copy other's work and cheaters who allow their work to be copied.

If you cheat, you will be given an E in the course and referred to the University Student Behavior Committee. If you have any questions about what constitutes cheating, please ask.

The University of Utah conforms to all standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you wish to qualify for exemptions under this act, notify the Center for Disabled Students Services, 160 Union.
Last update: Monday, September 11th, 2017