CS383 Programming Languages

Course Summary

A small number of concepts underline the hundreds of programming languages that have been designed and implemented. This course introduces the concepts that serve as a basis for programming languages. It aims to provide the students with a basic understanding and appreciation of the various essential programming language constructs, programming paradigms, evaluation criteria and language implementation issues. The course covers concepts from functional, imperative, object-oriented, logic programming and optionally scripting languages. These concepts are demonstrated by incrementally adding more features to a simple functional language called Lambda Calculus to eventually arrive at a full-fledged, user-friendly general purpose programming language. At the end of the course, a number of modern programming languages from various paradigms are presented as examples.

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Administrative Information

Lectures: Mon 16:00-17:40, Wed 10:00-11:40 (9-16th week), Dongzhongyuan 3-103.

Instructor: Kenny Zhu - SEIEE 03-407 Phone: 3420-4592 Email: kzhu[at]cs[dot]sjtu[dot]edu[dot]cn
Office hours: by appointment via email or ask after class

Teaching Assistant: Bran Li
Email: likaijian[at]sjtu[dot]edu[dot]cn
Office hours: Thu 16:00-17:00 @ SEIEE 03-329

Reference Textbooks:

  1. Programming Languages Principles and Paradigms by Allen Tucker and Robert Noonan, McGraw Hill / 2009-5-1 (Also published by Tsinghua University Press and available at the University Textbook Office).
  2. Practical Foundations for Programming Languages by Robert Harper, Cambridge University Press.
  3. Types and Programming Languages by Benjamin C. Pierce, The MIT Press.
  4. Programming Languages: Application and Interpretation by Shriram Krishnamurthi, Brown, Online.


  1. In-class quizzes: 10%
  2. Tutorial participation: 5%
  3. Assignments: 30-40%
  4. Project: 25%
  5. Exam (in-class test): 20-30%


ClassDateTopic SlidesResourcesHomework
Copyright (c) Kenny Q. Zhu, 2012-2019.