Honors Compilers

Tuesday 3:30 - 4:45 pm, CIWW 102
Thursday 3:30 - 4:45 pm, CIWW 102
Professor Amir Pnueli

Instructor: Amir Pnueli (amir@cs.nyu.edu) Office hours: CIWW402, Tuesday and Thursday 2-3 pm, or by appointment.

Class list

All students should register themselves with the class list, which is used for all technical discussions concerning the course and the course project. To subscribe to this list visit the web page:


where you will find full directions.

Please send all your questions to this list (not only to the instructor) so that everyone can participate.



Aho, Lam, Sethi, and Ullman: Compilers, principles, Techniques and tools (Addison Wesley, Second Edition)


Scott: Programming Language Pragmatics.
A nice balance of language issues and implementation issues, with substantial elementary information about compiler structures and organization.

Additional recommended readings:

Fraser and Hanson: a retargetable C compiler (Benjamin Cummings, 1996)
Good treatment of the machine-description techniques used among others by the GCC family of compilers.

Muchnick: advanced compiler design and implementation (Morgan Kaufman, 1997)
Excellent treatment of code generation and optimization issues for a variety of processors.

Appel : modern compiler implementation in C : basic techniques
Also available in ML and Java versions.

Dewar & Smosna : Microprocessors, a programmer's perspective (Mc-Graw Hill)
An excellent survey of what a software engineer needs to know about hardware.

Course outline and Class Presentations

Course Requirements

The work in the course consists of several written assignment and a programming project, consiting of 5 parts, in which the students will be expected to write a compiler for a simple imperative program. There is no final exam.
The grade for the course will be computed by a weighted average of the written assignments and the project.

Written Assignments

Assignment 1: lexical analysis , due October 1, 2009
Assignment 2: Algorithms on grammars (postscript),   PDF, due October 20, 2009


The course involves the construction of a compiler for a simple imperative language.

  • Test Programs for Compiler Project

  • Reference Materials