NYU, Graduate Division, Computer Science Course, G22.3110-001 

 Honors Programming Languages 

 Patrick Cousot 

 Spring 2010 

Course Description:

Objective of the course: learning how to learn programming languages

Programming is one of the basic activities of computer scientists which implies to know one or several programming languages. In the history of computer science thousands of programming languages have been invented, implemented, and used. Moreover each language has many revisions, dialects for different computers and operating systems, and domain-specific variants. It is therefore impossible to know all programming languages. Moreover, computer scientists are very likely to use many programming languages during their career that simply did not exist at the beginning of their career. Hence, It is extremely important to learn how to learn new programming languages. This is precisely the main objective of this course which provides a methodology to learn and use programming languages.

Basic concepts of programming languages

Languages are designed out of basic ideas and programming styles that can be explained and understood independently of a particular languages and have as many instances as programming languages emboddying these features. The course will extensively study such features. Examples are typing and type inferrence, object-orientation, modularity, data allocation and handling (eg stack, heap), control structures (iterators, recursion), abstraction (functions, objects), environment accessing (scripting), reflexion (self-modification of behavior), etc.

Which languages to learn

The course will introduce a panorama of programming languages representative of the main families of programming languages (such as imperative, functional, object-oriented, logic, scripting).


Tuesday & Thursday, 3:30—4:45, CIWW 312 Office Hours: By email appointment on Tuesday & Thursday, 5:00—6:30PM, CIWW 405

First course:

Thursday January 21st, 2010


None, all information is online.

Course requirements:

Homeworks (exercices), individual oral presentation of a programming language.


Homeworks (20%), individual oral presentation of a programming language (40%), and final exam (40%).

The course content is online

P. Cousot