G7400 F'12

General Information

Instructors Matthias Felleisen

Class The class meets on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:50am to 11:30am, starting on September 7, 2012 and ending December 07, 2012.

Location The course is schedule for International Village 022.

Grades PhD students don't go to school to get grades. Try again.

Prerequisites The course will assume that you know how to design (recursive) programs (systematically) and that you have encountered inductive proofs in your undergraduate education. At Northeastern, most of the relevant material is covered in the freshman courses on programming and computing and logic in computing. In case you have doubts, consider reading the book below:

Felleisen, Findler, Flatt, Krishnamurthi. How to Design Programs. MIT Press 2001.
Understanding the sections labeled "Designing ..." is a key to this course.
For a PhD student, "to read" means to read and solve the exercises and if you can't, read the section. -- The above is not the only approach to explicit and systematic design of programs. It is quite possible that you have acquired the necessary background via alternative approaches.

Weekly Homework Assignment The weekly assignments will serve to reinforce the technical material. Some problems will ask you to solve paper and pencil problems; for others you will use the PLT Redex modeling environment, which comes with the Racket programming language; and for yet others, you may have to program in your favorite programming language.

Mini-Project In order to integrate what you have learned during the semester, you will work on a mini-project during the second half of the semester. I will propose topics for the mini-project after a couple of weeks. If you intend to get your PhD in programming languages, you are welcome to propose your own project; collect project ideas during the first few weeks as you get to know how the course works.

You will present the results of your Mini-Project during the lecture time of the last (two) weeks of the semester. Your presentation should be an extension of your memo with your results translated into an oral format. You have 30 minutes for your presentation, 15 minutes per student. You will answer questions for around 10 minutes. This is similar to the common conference presentation constraint.

Work You will work in pairs for the weekly assignments and the mini-project. The pairings will change over the course of the semester. For the mini-project you may choose your own partner, enrollment permitting. PhD research isn't about individual work only; you must learn to collaborate with others.

Exams We may have some. Perhaps not. See grades above.

Grades Okay, okay. We will assign grades because some people will never understand that a PhD is all about "wanting to learn". To a first approximation, the grades will be based on the results of some 10 weekly assignment sets, each of which also counts for 5% of the final grade. The rest of the grade (approximately 50%) is based the pieces of the mini-project and their timely completion. If an exam or a pop quiz is called for, the mini-project will count for less.

I reserve the right to make additional minor modifications to this policy.

last updated on Mon Nov 19 17:49:27 EST 2012generated with Racket