Programme And Module Handbook
Course Details in 2022/23 Session

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Module Title LM Programming Language Principles, Design, and Implementation (Extended)
SchoolComputer Science
Department Computer Science
Module Code 06 30256
Module Lead David Parker
Level Masters Level
Credits 20
Semester Semester 1
Pre-requisites LI Systems Programming in C/C++ - (06 30203)
Restrictions None
Contact Hours Lecture-33 hours
Guided independent study-167 hours
Total: 200 hours
Description By now students will have seen and used a variety of programming languages. In this module they will also understand the principles behind their design along with techniques for transforming human-friendly programs written in high-level programming languages such as C, Java, or Haskell, into machine-friendly sets of instructions, written for example in assembly. This module introduces some of the central concepts and techniques used to design and study programming languages, from syntactic and semantic specification to compilation. Students will see how to design a language by first defining its syntax (e.g., grammar rules) and semantics (e.g., operational semantics). They will further learn how types can be used to guarantee that programs are “safe”, thereby preventing certain catastrophic errors. We will see that types have other uses. They can for example be used as abstraction mechanisms that allow hiding implementation details. Finally, the module will describe the structure of a typical compiler, including front end phases that implement the syntactic and semantic specification of a language, and the code generation and optimization backend phases, as well as the key techniques used in those phases.
Learning Outcomes By the end of the module students should be able to:
  • Understand the principles behind parsing
  • Understand operational semantics and abstract machines
  • Understand the principles of code optimisation and generation
  • Understand the use of types to guarantee safety properties
  • Understand and prove compiler correctness
  • Demonstrate the capacity to independently study, understand, and critically evaluate advanced materials or research articles in the subject areas covered by this module.
  • Apply typing algorithms to check or infer types
  • Use compilation techniques to transform source code into target code
  • Understand the principles behind those compilation techniques
Assessment 30256-01 : Continuous Assessment : Coursework (20%)
30256-02 : Examination : Exam (Centrally Timetabled) - Written Unseen (80%)
Assessment Methods & Exceptions Assessment:
Examination (80%),
Continuous Assessment (20%)

Examination (100%)
Reading List