Class MeetingsMon + Wed 4:55pm-6:10pm
First ClassSep 8, 2021
Last ClassDec 13, 2021
InstructorThomas Wies
Office60 Fifth Av, Room 403
Office HoursTue 3:00-4:00pm, or by appointment


Computing professionals have to learn new programming languages all the time. This course teaches the fundamental principles of programming languages that enable you to learn new languages quickly and help you decide which one is best suited for a given task.

We will explore new ways of viewing computation and programs, and new ways of approaching algorithmic problems, making you better programmers overall. The topics covered in this course include

  • recursion and induction
  • algebraic data types and pattern matching
  • higher-order functions
  • continuations and tail recursion
  • programming language syntax and semantics
  • type systems
  • monads
  • objects and classes

We will explore these topics by building interpreters for programming languages of increasing complexity. The course will thus be accompanied by an extensive programming project. We will use the programming language Scala for this project, which you will also learn in this course.

Prerequisites: Computer Systems Organization (CSCI-UA 201). Proficiency in programming languages such as Java is expected.



You will find the syllabus and class notes on the course's Brightspace page.


Homework (30%), midterm exam (30%), final exam (40%).

Late Submission Policy

Late submissions of homework solutions will be graded with a 10% penalty per day of late submission. Solutions will not be graded if ey are submitted later than one week after the specified deadline.

Academic Integrity

Please review the departmental academic integrity policy. In this course, you may discuss homework problems and assignments with other students, but the work you turn in must be your own. Do not copy another student's work. Also, you should consult the instructor before using materials or code other than that provided in class. Copying code or other work without giving appropriate acknowledgment is a serious offense with consequences ranging from no credit to potential expulsion.