Programming Languages: Theory and Practice
(CIS 352 at Syracuse U)
Note: parts of this syllabus are subject to change with adequate notice to students.
An introduction to the design and implementation of programming languages, focused on operational semantics and interpreters. This course is heavily project-focused, and a specific emphasis will be placed upon training in algorithmic thinking and programming strategy.
- Kris Micinski, Asst. Prof at Syracuse ECS
- Office hours (CST 4-185): Tu/Th for an hour after class.
- Jack Levin (TA), MS student at Syracuse ECS
- Office hours: Monday/Wednesday 3-4PM, CST 0-123
- Asynchronous video lecture units (at most ~80min per week)
- I assume you have watched the videos before class; but no big pressure to understand everything, I will recap during class. However, please think of recorded lectures as “the book.”
- 5 projects
- 2 midterms, 1 final (both 20%, lowest drops)
- This will be a project-focused course. Approximately 3-5 hours per week outside of class is expected. I recommend against taking this course concurrent with other project-heavy courses.
- Exams – 40%
- Two midterms, one final. Each exam is worth 20%, and lowest of the three drops. Midterms cover 5 of 10 learning objectives (see links at top of page); particular focus topics will be announced on Zulip or in class a day or two before the exam. Students are allowed a handwritten, one-sided, US letter-sized note sheet. The final is comprehensive and includes 10 questions.
- For both midterms (but not the final) students are allowed to write corrections and get back 50% for each problem on which they made a “good faith attempt” (some not-insignificat effort towards a solution).
- Projects – 60%
- Five projects, worth
15%12% each. except for one shorter warmup project worth 10%.
Final grades will be assigned as follows; final grading bars will be announced a few days before the final exam.
- A – 88%
- B+ – 85%
- B – 82%
- B- – 78%
- C+ – 74%
- C – 70%
- C- – 65%
- D – 60%
- < D – < 60%
There are five programming projects in Racket. Projects will generally have deadlines of roughly 12 calendar days from their assignment (though this may be adjusted at times). Projects will be graded using an autograder whose URL is https://autograde.org. You will receive credentials for the autograder–if you have not received these by the second week of class, let the professor know. You are expected to learn how to use the Git interface to the autograder–the autograder will technically accept archives, but the instructors strongly prefer students (and will exclusively help support) using Git.
Project Late Policy
- Projects turned in within 72 hours of the deadline will receive a 15 percent penalty. Projects turned in after 72 hours and until the end of the course will receive a 25 percent penalty.
Exams explicitly measure your ability to materialize solutions to questions regarding relevant course content in an open-ended fashion. There will be two midterms both with roughly five questions each. Questions will be drawn from the learning objectives at the top of the page.
We realize exams can be stressful. The instructors strongly encourage students to look into the resources provided by the Barnes Center (such as extended exam time) if a student thinks their academic performance is impeded by exam-related stress. We are happy to provide accomodations for exams, but the instructors request at least 72 hours notice for each exam so that we may upload the necessary material to the student testing center.
Collaboration and the Honor Code
- Projects and exams must be completed alone, without exception.
- Specifically, you must never send your code to anyone or allow anyone to watch you code, obtain your code, study your code, copy your code, etc… We expect you will take reasonable precautious to ensure the secrecy of your solutions (e.g., closing your laptop before leaving your apartment, if living with other students).
- The autograder employs elaborate cheat-detection techniques, including advanced static analyses. These techniques will compare your code to other students’ submissions, along with students from previous semesters. The TAs and instructor will be using these features to periodically scan for students who are cheating. Past experience shows us that this system is very robust, and has allowed us to detect several large clusters of collaborating students; all violations ever reported in CIS352 have been upheld by the Syracuse University academic integrity council.
- All apparent cases (with credible evidence, as determined by lead instructor) of academic dishonesty will be reported, even if the student believes they made an honest mistake, or no mistake at all. We understand honor violations are stressful processes, and thus we strive to only submit academic integrity cases when we believe there is clear evidence that the academic integrity board should review our findings independently.
- You may collaborate, to any degree you want, with anyone (even outside of your group) on in-class or self-study exercises. These will be clearly labeled, and are specifically not the course projects (which explicitly disallow any form of collaboration).
- While we recommend you discuss the project specification with your
peers, you should basically never be getting help from peers about
your code. In particular, you should never be showing another
student your project code. If you do discuss coding about the
project with another student, it should only be in the abstract
(e.g., “can you use operator overloading to implement that?” or “do
you think it would be sensible to implement this with
map?”) and not particularized to your codebase. We understand that this can be a challenging line to walk, and thus, we recommend the following heuristic: when talking to other students about code, discuss mostly the in-class exercises and participation coding exercises.
- You may not “hard code” solutions to tests for projects. The TAs and professor will audit all student solutions, and use automated static analysis tools, to check for potential hard-coding or other practices that circumvent the spirit of our automated tests–hard-coding solutions is considered a particularly offensive violation and will be immediately reported to the academic integrity board.
- Cite all help other than the professor, T.A., and required/recommended text (you are allowed to cite those if you wish, but it is not required unless you are specifically told otherwise). Proper citation is not sufficient to avoid any charge of academic dishonesty (e.g., citing another student’s work from a previous semester), but we will not be particularly focused on copyright law and it is permissible to use small snippets of code from Stack Overflow (or related sources such as books and notes) that do not tangibly complete the substance of the project for you. Again: You should never share code with another student. This includes both sending a file to another student and “over the shoulder” copying (even when, e.g., variable names are changed, etc..). In the eyes of the instructor, these are both equally bad. You should never be sitting and helping another along by writing their code. By doing so you are both violating the honor policy and disadvanting the student you are helping (as they may not then properly learn the material).
- If a student is found (by the university academic integrity council) to have violated the academic integrity policy, the instructor reserves the right to impose any grade-related sanction they see fit, up to and including course failure–regardless of the level suggested by the academic integrity council.
Syracuse University values diversity and inclusion; we are committed to a climate of mutual respect and full participation. There may be aspects of the instruction or design of this course that result in barriers to your inclusion and full participation in this course. I invite any student to meet with me to discuss strategies and/or accommodations (academic adjustments) that may be essential to your success and to collaborate with the Office of Disability Services (ODS) in this process.
If you would like to discuss disability-accommodations or register with ODS, please visit their website at http://disabilityservices.syr.edu. Please call (315) 443-4498 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more detailed information.
ODS is responsible for coordinating disability-related academic accommodations and will work with the student to develop an access plan. Since academic accommodations may require early planning and generally are not provided retroactively, please contact ODS as soon as possible to begin this process.
As part of the regular ABET accreditation process for the undergraduate program in computer science, we may be collecting samples of students’ work in each of our undergraduate classes. As a result, some of your labs/homeworks/exams may be photocopied/scanned (or electronically copied) to be presented for accreditation at some later point.
Student Mental Health
Mental health and overall well-being are significant predictors of academic success. As such it is essential that during your college experience you develop the skills and resources effectively to navigate stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns. Please familiarize yourself with the range of resources the Barnes Center provides (https://ese.syr.edu/bewell) and seek out support for mental health concerns as needed. Counseling services are available 24/7, 365 days a year, at 315.443.8000.
Discrimination and Harassment
The University does not discriminate and prohibits harassment or discrimination related to any protected category including creed, ethnicity, citizenship, sexual orientation, national origin, sex, gender, pregnancy, disability, marital status, age, race, color, veteran status, military status, religion, sexual orientation, domestic violence status, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression or perceived gender.
Any complaint of discrimination or harassment related to any of these protected bases should be reported to Sheila Johnson-Willis, the University’s Chief Equal Opportunity & Title IX Officer. She is responsible for coordinating compliance efforts under various laws including Titles VI, VII, IX and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. She can be contacted at Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and Resolution Services, 005 Steele Hall, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244-1120; by email: email@example.com; or by telephone: 315-443-0211.
If you notice any incidents of harassment or discrimination in class or related venues (Zulip, other chats with students), however minor, please email me. You may wish to use an anonymous email service such as https://anonymousemail.me/. Please feel free to tell me as much as you feel comfortable. As a notice: I am a mandatory Title IX reporter and thus am legally-compelled to report incidents such as sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking, etc…
Zulip is a messaging platform for teams. We’ll be using it for most course management. This is the best place to get in touch with me for one-off questions, ask for an appointment for office hours, etc.. Email me if you have not been invited to the course Zulip.