CSE 307 - Syllabus - Spring 2018

Principles of Programming Languages course


Course Description

Presents examples of important programming languages and paradigms such as LISP, ALGOL, ADA, ML, Prolog, and C++. Students write sample programs in some of the languages studied. The languages are used to illustrate programming language constructs such as binding, binding times, data types and implementation, operations (assignment data-type creation, pattern matching), data control, storage management, parameter passing, and operating environment. The suitability of these various languages for particular programming tasks is also covered. (https://www.cs.stonybrook.edu/students/Undergraduate-Studies/courses/CSE307)


CSE 219 or CSE 260; CSE 220; CSE major or permission of instructor.

Course Outcomes

The following are the official course goals agreed upon by the faculty for this course:
  • Knowledge of, and ability to use, language features used in current programming languages.
  • An ability to program in different language paradigms and evaluate their relative benefits.
  • An understanding of the key concepts in the implementation of common features of programming languages.

Major Topics Covered in Course

  • Principles of Language Design
  • Specification of Language Syntax
  • Survey of Procedural and OO Languages
  • Intro. to Functional Programming
  • Intro. to Logic Programming
  • Programming Language Semantics
  • Values
  • Bindings
  • Types
  • Programming Language Constructs
  • Expressions
  • Statements
  • Procedures and Environments
  • Parameter Passing


Instructor: Dr. Paul Fodor
214 New Computer Science Department, Stony Brook University
Office hours: Thursdays 10:00-11:30am and Fridays 11:30am-1:00pm
Phone: 1 (631) 632-9820
Email: paul.fodor@stonybrook.edu

Class Time/Place

  • Lectures: TuTh 7-8:20PM, Harriman 137.


Programming Language Pragmatics by Michael Scott. Fourth Edition, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2015. ISBN-13: 978-0124104099.

We will also use material from:

  • Introduction to Programming Using Python, by Y. Daniel Liang. Pearson; 1 edition (January 12, 2012). ISBN-13: 978-0132747189.

Grading Schema

Grades will be based on homework and exams according to the following formula:
  • Homework assignments = 20%
  • Quizzes = 5%
  • Midterm exam 1 = 25%
  • Midterm exam 2 = 25%
  • Final exam = 25%

Do not miss the exam. Make-up exams will be given only in extenuating circumstances (e.g., doctor's note stating that you were ill and unfit to take the exam). Students who miss an exam for a valid reason may need to take a make-up exam; specific arrangements will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Exam dates:

The Pass/No Credit (P/NC) option is not available for this course.

This policy applies to all CSE/ISE undergraduate courses used to satisfy the graduation requirements for the major.

Grade Cutoffs

A [93-100], A- [90-93), B+ [87-90), B [83-87), B- [80-83), C+ [77-80), C [73-77), C- [70-73), D+ [65-70), D [60-65), F [0-60)

SPECIAL RULE: If all your grades, including homework assignments, quizzes, recitation and your three exam grades are above the respective class averages, you're guaranteed to receive a grade of C or higher for this class.

There will be extra credit problems as a part of quizzes and homework assignments which values to an increase of less than 4% in the final grade.

There will be in-class quizzes / brief assessments used to practice the class material and measure growth in knowledge, abilities, and skills. They will be solved in class and they are valued 2 points each.

The grades will be posted on Blackboard: http://blackboard.stonybrook.edu for privacy reasons.

The final grade you receive in this class will reflect, as far as possible, the extent to which you have mastered the concepts and their applications. How much someone needs a grade, or how close they are to the next higher grade, will have no effect on grade. As the instructor, I want everyone to do well in this course, and will make every reasonable effort to help you understand the material taught. However, the grades provided at the end of the semester are final, except for rare situations involving grading errors. They will not be altered for any reason, so please do not ask me to do so.

Programming homework assignments

There will be regular programming assignments which must be submitted electronically on Blackboard (http://blackboard.stonybrook.edu) by the announced due date and time. All code must compile. Code that does not compile will not be graded. Assignments will be graded based on program performance and documentation. You may not submit any programming assignment late. Late programming work will not be graded. All program code that is submitted electronically must have the following information listed clearly in documentation (comments in your program code) at the beginning of each file: your name, the course (CSE 307), your section, the programming assignment number, the lab/recitation date and your section's graduate TA's name. There is also a programming project before the end of the semester.

  • Code that does not compile will not receive any credit.
  • Submissions that are no submitted as requested in the assignment will not receive any credit. That is, if the submission requires a Test.java file, any submissions of test.java, test.text, test, etc. will not receive any credit. Similarly, if the requirements say that a method computeBalance with 2 paramenters is required, any submission that defined methods like compute_balance, computer_Balance, etc. will also not receive any credit.


For re-grading of an assignment or exam, please meet with the person (instructor or teaching assistant) responsible for the grading. Please arrange a re-evaluation within one week of receiving the graded work. All such requests that are later than one week from the date the graded work is returned to the class will not be entertained. To promote consistency of grading, questions and concerns about grading should be addressed first to the TA and then, if that does not resolve the issue, to the instructor. You are welcome to contact the TA by email or come to his office hour. If you would like to speak with the TA in person, and have a schedule conflict with his office hour, you are welcome to make an appointment to meet the TA at another time.

Tentative Class Schedule

Week Lecture Topics
1 Introduction to Programming Languages
2 Python
4 Programming language syntax
5 Programming language syntax
6 Names, Scopes, and Bindings  
7 Names, Scopes, and Bindings  
8 Spring Break
9 Semantic Analysis
10 Control Flow, Data Types
11 Control Flow, Data Types
12 Subroutines and Control Abstraction
13 Data Abstraction and Object Orientation, Functional Languages
14 Logic Languages
15 Logic Languages


The Piazza discussion board should be used for all communication with the teaching staff for questions about the course assignments and material. Piazza is a forum for additional learning and assistance. The following are not appropriate uses of Piazza:

  • cyber-bullying
  • posting memes
  • complaining about a grade
  • airing concerns/comments/criticisms about the course
  • posting more than a few lines of source code from an attempt at a homework problem
  • posting the solution to a homework problem or a link to a website containing the solution
  • in general, anything unrelated to the course material and student learning

Therefore, you are expected to use the Piazza forum for all non-personal, course-related communication. Questions about what a homework problem is asking, technical problems that need troubleshooting, or other questions that might be of interest to other students must be posted to Piazza and not emailed to the instructor or a TA. Piazza is a luxury, and if used inappropriately it will be closed/removed for you. We will not tolerate cyber-bullying. Anonymous posting is turned off, so we can see who you are. Improper conduct will be reported to the Dean of Students Office.

Email Etiquette

When emailing your instructor about the course, use the following guidelines to ensure a timely response:

  • use your official @stonybrook.edu email account (we cannot respond to an other email due to FERPA regulations)
  • use a descriptive subject line that includes "CSE307" and a brief note on the topic
  • begin with a proper greeting, such as "Hi Prof. Fodor"
  • briefly explain your question or concern or request including the course (we are teaching several courses)
  • end with a proper closing that includes your full name, Net ID and SBU ID number

Disability Support Services (DSS) Statement:

If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services, ECC(Educational Communications Center) Building, Room 128, (631)632-6748. They will determine with you what accommodations, if any, are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.
Students who require assistance during emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and Disability Support Services. For procedures and information go to the following website: http://www.stonybrook.edu/ehs/fire/disabilities

Academic Integrity Statement:

Each student must pursue his or her academic goals honestly and be personally accountable for all submitted work. Representing another person's work as your own is always wrong. Faculty is required to report any suspected instances of academic dishonesty to the Academic Judiciary. Faculty in the Health Sciences Center (School of Health Technology & Management, Nursing, Social Welfare, Dental Medicine) and School of Medicine are required to follow their school-specific procedures. For more comprehensive information on academic integrity, including categories of academic dishonesty please refer to the academic judiciary website at http://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/academic_integrity/index.html

Critical Incident Management Statement:

Stony Brook University expects students to respect the rights, privileges, and property of other people. Faculty are required to report to the Office of University Community Standards any disruptive behavior that interrupts their ability to teach, compromises the safety of the learning environment, or inhibits students' ability to learn. Faculty in the HSC Schools and the School of Medicine are required to follow their school-specific procedures. Further information about most academic matters can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin, the Undergraduate Class Schedule, and the Faculty-Employee Handbook.

Page maintained by Paul Fodor