CSCI 310 Organization of Programming Languages

Spring 2017

Meeting Time/Place:           MWF 2-2:50pm Fitzelle 246

Prerequisites:                       CSCI 203

Instructor:                             Dr. Don Allison

Office:                                    Fitzelle 231

Phone:                                    436-3439

Email:                                     allisodl(at)

Office Hours:                        MW 4-6, F 5-6

                                                Others by appointment (or just drop by)


Text and Software: 

The textbook for this course is Concepts of Programming Languages, Robert W. Sebesta, 11th edition, Pearson, ISBN-13 978-0133943023.  We will be using several different computer languages for various programming projects.  These will be available in the department lab.  If you want to install them on your personal computer, you can find them at the following sites:


GNU Common Lisp:


Haskell tutorial: http:/

SWI Prolog:


Python tutorials:


Eiffel books:

Google Go:


Course Description (from the catalog): 

Analyzes programming languages in terms of their features and limitations based on run-time behavior.  Presents two or three languages for in-depth study.  These may include, for example, SNOBOL, LISP, Prolog, APL, and PL/1.  Students complete applications projects chosen specifically to exhibit the power and limitations of languages presented.


Course Description (the inside scoop):

As you can tell, this description was written a LONG time ago if it is mentioning languages like SNOBOL and APL.  The purpose of this course is to examine the features of programming languages, why they were designed the way they were, and how they are implemented.  We will examine three main programming paradigms: functional programming, logic programming, and procedural/object-oriented programming, spending the most time on the latter.  The current programming language landscape will also be placed in historical perspective so that students may appreciate how hardware and programming language capabilities evolved together and how software engineering has driven and been driven by programming language development.


Course Goals 

By the end of the course students should be conversant with the different programming paradigms, and should have experienced the process of learning a new language on the fly while also using it to complete a project.  Students should have a reasonable grasp of the basic features of programming languages, and how each feature affects the implementation of that language.


Tentative Schedule:








Jan 16-20


Martin Luther King Day

National Nothing Day

Appreciate a Dragon Day


Classes Begin

Add/Drop begins

Thesaurus Day

Winnie the Pooh Day


National Popcorn Day

National Cheese Lover Day

Penguin Awareness Day

Preliminaries & History (CH 1&2)

Jan 23-27

National Pie Day

Measure Your Feet Day

Add/Drop ends

Beer Can Appreciation Day

Compliment Day

Opposite Day

Spouse’s Day

Chocolate Cake Day

Jan 30-Feb3

Bubble Wrap Apprecxiation Day

Functional Programming (CH 15)

Last day to add a full semester course

Backward Day

National Freedom Day

Ground Hog Day


The Day the Music Died

Feb 6-10

Diploma Application due

Lame Duck Day

Send a Card to a Friend Day

Boy Scout Day

Kite Flying Day

Toothache Day

Umbrella Day

Feb 13-17

Clean Out Your Computer Day

National Organ Donor Day

Valentine’s Day

TAP certification begins

National Gum Drop Day

Singles Awareness Day


Do a Grouch a Favor Day

Random Acts of Kindness Day

Feb 20-24

Cherry Pie Day

Love Your Pet Day

President’s Day

Logic Programming (CH 16)

Card Reading Day

George Washington’s Birthday

Be Humble Day

Walking the Dog Day

International World Thinking Day

International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day

Tennis Day

National Tortilla Chip Day

Feb 27-Mar 3

No Brainer Day

Polar Bear Day

Functional programming assignment due

Mardi Gras

Public Sleeping Day

Summer Session Registration begins

Ash Wednesday

Old Stuff Day

College closes after last class

Employee Appreciation Day

I Want You to Be Happy Day

If Pets Had Thumbs Day

Mar 6-10


Dentist’s Day

National Frozen Food Day


National Crown Roast of Pork Day


Be Nasty Day


Panic Day

Popcorn Lover’s Day


Middle Name Pride Day

Mar 13-17

Classes resume

Daylight Saving Time Started Yesterday…Did You Set Your Clock Forward?

Ear Muff Day

Syntax & Semantics (CH 3)

National Pi Day

National Potato Chip Dayu

Ides of March Day

Everything You Think Is Wrong Day

Interim grades due

Everything You Do Is Right Day

Freedom of Information Day

St Patrick’s Day

Corned Beef and Cabbage Day

Submarind Day

Mar 20-24

Extraterrestrial Abductions Day

Proposal Day

Logic programming assignment due

Procedural/O-O programming assignment

Lexical & Syntax Analysis (CH 4)

Credit Card Reduction Day

Natioa Agriculture Day

Tea for Two Tuesday

National Goof Off Day

National Puppy Day

National Chip and Dip Day

Last day to drop

National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

Mar 27-31

National “Joe” Day

Names, Bindings & Scopes (Ch 5)

Something on a Stick Day

Smoke and Mirrors Day

I Am in Control Day

Take a Walk in the Park Day

Bunsen Burner Day

National Clam on the Half Shell Day

Apr 3-7

Begin fall pre-enrollment

Don’t Go to Work Unless It’s Fun Day

Tweed Day

Data Types (Ch 6)

Tell a Lie Day

School Librarian Day

Go for Broke Day

National Tartan Day

Plan Your Epitaph Day

National Beer Day

National Walk to Work Day

No Housework Day

Apr 10-14

Last day for students to make up an incomplete

Passover Begins

National Siblings Day

Procedural/O-O programming assignment due

Language Design project

Expressions & Assignment Statements (Ch 7)

Eight Track Tape Day

Barbershop Quartet Day

Big Wind Day

Scrabble Day

Good Friday

International Moment of Laughter Day

Reach as High as You Can Day

Apr 17-21


Easter was yesterday

National Cheeseball Day

Patriot’s Day

Pet Owners Independence Day

Dingus Day

Statement Level Control Structures (Ch 8)

Passover Ends

International Juggler’sDay

National Garlic Day


Last day to withdraw from college

Look Alike Day

National High Five Day

Volunteer Recognition Day

Kindergarten Day

Apr 24-28

Pig in a Blanket Day

Subprograms (Ch 9)

Language Design project due

World Penguin Day

Administrative Professionals Day

Richter Scale Day

National Prime Rib Day

Take your Daughter to Work

Tell a Story Day

International Astronomy Day

Great Poetry Reading Day

May 1-5

May Day

Mother Goose Day

Last day of classes

Brodthers and Sisters Day

Study Day

Lumpy Rug Day

Final Exams begin

8:30 TR


11:30 TR




Star Wars Day

Renewal Day





CSCI 344



CSCI 310

Cinco de Mayo

International Tuba Day

Space Day

Oyster Day

May 8-12





CSCI 116



CSCI 232

V-E Day

World Red Cross Day

No Socks Day







National Teachers Day

Lost Sock Memorial Day

Final Exams end





CSCI 116



Clean up Your Room Day

Eat What You Want Day

Twilight Zone Day

Saturday: Commencement

Fatigue Syndrome Day

Limerick Day



Attendance Policy: 

Attendance is STRONGLY encouraged.  Attendance will be taken at random class meetings.  All college policies regarding attendance will be followed.  You will be responsible for material covered in the as well as the material in the text.  In addition, we will be discussing the exams and programming projects in class, writing sample code for them, and so on, as well as answering questions about the assigned material, so it is in your best interest to attend class as much as possible.


Collaboration Policy: 

Cheating or other academic dishonesty hurts others as well as yourself and will not be tolerated!  Since one goal of this class is to provide you with experience with different programming paradigms and languages similar to those you might use in the real world, like the real world it IS acceptable to collaborate with your classmates, under certain conditions.  All work submitted on the exams should be yours and yours alone.  It IS acceptable to discuss the programming projects among yourselves, AS LONG AS any code you turn in you have written yourself!  You should also be able to answer any questions I have about your code—in other words, you should be able to explain the algorithms and data structures you are using in your program if I ask.  Plagiarism can get you in trouble in the “real world”, and it will get you in trouble in this class.  You should credit any code that you did not write yourself, and you should provide references to algorithms and data structures you use!


Programming Style Guidelines: 

Since this is an upper division course, it is expected that your programs will follow good programming style conventions for the language you are using.  You should indent your code to reflect its internal structure.  You should use block comments to explain what your code is doing at a high level.  Each function should have a header that gives the function name, the inputs, the output(s), and lists any side effects, as well as providing a two or three sentence summary of what the function does.  In addition, your main program file should have a block header similar to the following:


! CSCI 310 Organization of Programming Languages, Spring 2017

! Program #1: Functional Programming

! Author: Don Allison

! Date Due: 15 February 2017


! This program illustrates the functional programming paradigm.

! This part of the project solves the Towers of Hanoi problem using tail recursion.


Your header should include the course name and number, the assignment number, your name, the program due date, and a two or three sentence description of the purpose and function of the program.


Program Turn-in Procedure:

You should zip up your source files, include files, and any data files needed to run your program Your programs should take the input as shown in the assignment and give the output as shown.  You should be able to cut the input and paste it into your program to get the output given.  The zip file should be emailed to me, allisodl(at), as an attachment, with a subject line such as (if your name were Don Allison and you were turning in the Procedural Programming program) Procedural Programming program turnin: Don Allison.  Make sure you turn in all the required parts!!!  Make sure you include the appropriate subject line!!!


Grading and Other Administrivia:

Exams: There will be a two midterm exams and a final experience.  Each midterm exam will contribute 25% of your grade, while the final experience will contribute 5%.  The final experience will be presenting your language design to the class.  There will also be three programming projects and the language design project.


Programming Projects: The programming projects are an integral part of the course.  There will be three large projects, each of which will be composed of several smaller programs.  Each of these projects will count 10% towards your final grade.  The projects will be implemented in a functional programming language, a logic programming language, and a procedural or object-oriented language.


Language Design Project: There will be a semester long language design project.  In this project, you will take a problem and solve it by designing a special purpose language for it, using the concepts we will have been studying throughout the semester.  You will present your language and discuss its design during the final exam.  The design documents for your language will contribute 15% of your grade, while the presentation will contribute another 5%.


Grade Computation:




Tentative Date

Midterm Exam #1


15 February

Midterm Exam #2


29 March

Final Exam


5 May, 2-4:30

Functional Programs


20 February

:Logic Programs


20 March

Procedural/O-O Programs


10 April

Language Design Project


24 April






Make-up Test and Late Assignment Policy: 

Late assignments will be assessed a 50% penalty for the first week they are late and will not be accepted if they are over a week late.  Assignments are considered due by 11:59PM on their due date.  Note that breaks do not count in computing any penalty.  No assignment will be accepted after the last day of class, even if that is within the week long grace period, for them to count toward the course grade.  You should plan to be present for all the tests and the final exam.  Any makeup exams will be allowed only for legitimate, school-approved excuses, and should be arranged with the instructor as soon as possible after you discover you can’t attend the exam (before the exam is given whenever possible).  In any case, all work must be completed by the last class, including any makeup exams.  Exams missed for unexcused absences, or exams not made up by the last day of classes will be recorded as a zero grade.


Additional resources: 

For students wishing to explore further or to find answers to questions not covered in the text, there are many books and journals available.  The following books are just a sampling of the wide diversity out there (these are some that happen to be in the campus library):


A Programming Language, Kenneth Iverson, 1962, QA 76.5 .I9 (covers APL)

The Little LISPer, Daniel Friedman, 1987, QA76.73.L23 F74 1987 (gentle intro to Lisp)

Common LISP, Guy Steele, 1984, QA76.73.L23 S73 1984 (definition of Common Lisp language)

LISP, David Touretzky, 1984, QA76.73.L23 T67 1984 (intro Lisp textbook)

LISP, Patrick Henry Winston, 1984, QA76.73.L23 W56 1984 (intro Lisp textbook)

A Programmer’s Guide to Common LISP, Deborah Tatar, 1987, QA76.73.C28 T38 1987 (slightly more advanced Lisp textbook)

Artificial Intelligence Programming, Eugene Charniak, 1980, Q336 .C48 1980 (using Lisp to develop AI applications)

Programming in Prolog, William F. Clocksin, 1985, QA76.73.P76 C57 1985 (standard Prolog description)

Prolog Programming for Artificial Intelligence, Ivan Bratko, 1986, Q336 .B74 1986 (using Prolog to develop AI applications)

The Art of Prolog, Leon Sterling, 1986, QA76.73.P76 S74 1986 (intro Prolog text)

Structured COBOL, Tyler Welburn, 1981, QA76.73.C25 W44

The SNOBOL 4 Programming Language, Ralph E. Griswold, 1971, QA76.73.S6 G75 1971

Pascal Applications for the Sciences, Richard E. Crandall, 1984, Q183.9 .C73 1984

Software Tools in Pascal, Brian W. Kernighan, 1981, QA76.6 .K493

An Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving with Pascal, Michael G. Schneider, QA76.73.P2 S36 1982

Programming in Modula-2, Niklaus Wirth, 1983, QA76.73.M63 W5713 1983

A Guide to ALGOL Programming, Daniel D. McCracken, 1962, QA76.5 .M186

Ada for Experienced Programmers, A. Nico Habermann, 1983, QA76.73.A35 H3 1983

The Annotated C++ Reference Manual, 1990, Margaret A. Ellis, QA76.73.C153 E35 1990

Comparing and Assessing Programming Languages, Alan R. Feuer, 1984, QA76.73.A35 C66 1984

Principles of Programming Languages, Bruce J. MacLennan, 1987, QA76.7 .M33 1987

Fundamentals of Programming Languages, Ellis Horowitz, 1984, QA76.7 .H67 1984

Programming Languages, Terrence W. Pratt, 1984, QA76.7 .P7 1984

The Definition of Programming Languages, Andrew D. McGettrick, 1980, QA76.7 .M28


If you have any particular areas you would be interested in for further reading and study, please ask me and I can recommend a range of books for you to consider.


Additional unique aspects of the course: 

Unlike more traditional memorize and regurgitate courses, this course has a strong hands-on learning, or learning by doing component, represented by the programming projects.  This enhances retention, reinforces understanding, and ensures that the student masters the material well enough to be able to use it in other projects.  By forcing the student to learn three new programming languages and two or three new programming paradigms, this course will help students get beyond the rut of being a Java or C++ programmer, and move them towards the goal of becoming a computer scientist.


Emergency Evacuation:

The Evacuation Assembly Area for this course is outside, 50 feet from the building.  In case a prolonged building evacuation is required, you will be directed to the building Evacuation Site.  The Evacuation Site for this class is the IRC Lobby.  In any case, if a building evacuation occurs, stay together as a class so that we can determine that everyone has made it safely from the building.  Evacuation is to occur any time the fire alarm sounds, an evacuation announcement is made, or a university official orders you to evacuate the building.  After the building has been evacuated, it is not to be re-entered until University Police gives permission.  For more information, see