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: Friday 10:30-11:30 and by appointment rest of the week.
- Davis Silverman (TA), PhD candidate at Syracuse ECS
- Office hours: Wednesday 12AM-2PM, Thursday 1PM-3PM – CST 4-288.
- Chang Liu (TA), MS student at Syracuse ECS
- Office hours: Monday 10:00 - 12:00 Zoom link
- Asynchronous video lecture units (at most ~80min per week)
- We assume you have watched the videos before class
- Class slides are available at this link.
- Participation points:
- Quiz before each lecture (closes as lecture begins)
- See other sources of participation below
- 5 projects
- 4 in-person quizzes (80 minutes, on paper) and a final (120 minutes, on paper)
- 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.
No Monday Labs:
- As a 3-credit course, Monday labs are not required as part of the curriculum. Instead, the professor and TAs will likely plan to hold some Monday office hours instead.
Grading has been simplified compared to previous offerings of CIS352. For Spring 2022, there are only two major components to the grade: exams and projects, which are both grade on a percent scale. Participation possibly adds a “plus” (i.e., A- to A), a “minus,” (A to A-) or no change at all (B remains B) to the grade based how much participation is done.
There is a detailed chart below explaining the grading policy, but it
is roughly this: (a) there are exams and projects, (b) if you get at
least an 80% in one category and at least a 90% in the other, you will
get an A (and so on), (c) if you get fewer than
points, you will get a “minus” taken from your grade in (b), [ 20 17- 30 27)
participation points will cause no change, and >= 30 27 participation
points will add a “plus” to the grade. Note that there is no A+,
however, the professor will track this information for recommendation
letters and references.
Informal Grading Rules for CIS352
- Your grade consists of participation, projects, and quiz / exam questions.
- The bulk of this is projects and exams, and most of your time will be spent on projects.
- Projects are graded on a percentage basis, based on the number of passing tests (including some hidden tests).
- Projects are graded via the autograder. You may submit as many times as you like up until 11:59PM on the day of the project’s deadline. However, the autograder will rate-limit you by providing you with a set number of tokens per day.
- There are
1210 exam questions, and every quiz/exam is cumulative. Each of the twelve questions will cover the same rough topics (learning objectives), and you will always get the maximum grade throughout the entire course on a project.
- As an example, if you get 4/5 points on question 1 on quiz 1, and 5/5 points on question 1 (different question, same topic) on quiz 2, you will have achieved the max score on question 1 and need not reattempt it in the rest of the course.
- There will be 4 in-person “quizzes” that take the whole class
period. They will be in class roughly every few weeks.
- You may submit up to six answers per quiz.
- There will be a cumulative final where you will see (again) all
12</strike> 10 exam questions. You may submit up to *eight* answers on the final (to raise your previous grade on each of eight questions, possibly to 100% for that question)
- There are many opportunities for participation points, outlined
below. You need at least
2017 in the course, otherwise you will get a “minus” (e.g., A to A-). If you get more than 3027 participation points, you get a “plus” (e.g., A- to A).
- Finally, your grade is given using the table below based on the higher and lower of your exam / project grades. Roughly: you will get an A with 80% in one category (exams/projects) and 90% in the other (and so on at 2-3-point intervals), and then a plus/minus/no-change will be taken based on participation.
- Janice gets an average of 85% on the projects, as reported by the Autograder. Janice gets a 87% on the exams, as reported by BlackBoard. Janice would get an A-, but also has 31 participation points, so gets an A.
|Projects/Exams (Higher)||Projects/Exams (Lower)||Base Grade|
|< 60||< 50||<D|
five four programming projects in the Racket programming
language, plus a bonus project. 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
first day of class, let Chang (TA) 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 four “quizzes” through the semester, each of
which will have up to
12 10 questions, based on the number of topics
presented so far in the course. Each exam will be cumulative, and for
each question number N (between 1 and 10 12) the content will be roughly
the same with a different question. These questions correspond to the
learning objectives (see top of page).
You will always get your maximum grade on any one problem. You can keep submitting (say) problem 5 until you either run out of chances (the final) or achieve full marks on that question.
We see in-person exams as a crucial counterpart to coding projects in determining the course grade. We recognize exams can be stressful. It is our intention that our grading scheme (frequent quizzes that allow you to raise your score after several attempts at the same material, along with the fact that a lower score in exams may be offset by project grades) will help assuage exam-related stress. However, 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.
Participation Credit (at least 30+ available)
Lots of participation credit will be available. Last year, the most-participating student accrued 43 participation points. You get participation in several ways:
- >50% participation quiz (on Blackboard) before each class gives 1 point, closes when class begins. (I.e., there is a quiz for each class that goes along with the videos.)
- Volunteering to livecode in class gives 2 points. Students are encouraged to present, and we will work to establish a positive environment where all students can make progress even if they don’t at first succeed. However, if you feel you simply cannot livecode in class you may ask me about doing some individualized programming instruction with the TAs / instructor instead.
- “Introduce yourself” to class (1 minute answer to question) gives 1 point.
- “Meet your professor” to discuss career goals gives 1 point.
- Groups that present answers to in-class questions will receive 1 point.
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. These techniques will compare your code to other students’ submissions, along with students from previous years. The TAs 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 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 honor code cases when we believe there is clear evidence that the honor board should review our findings independently.
- You may collaborate, to any degree you want, with anyone (even outside of your group) on participation coding 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.
- 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 sanction they see fit, up to and including course failure.
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 email@example.com 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 Universitys 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; or by telephone: 315-443-0211.
If you notice any incidents of harassment or discrimination, 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. I am a mandatory Title IX reporter and must report incidents such as sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking, etc…
Slack is an instant messaging app 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 Slack.