History of Programming Languages
In this seminar course, we will study themes in programming languages
from a historical perspective.
This idea of "several steps" is distinct from the modern idea of
publishing every single thought that occurred to someone over breakfast so that
the dean can get a high count for her yearly report.
The primary goal is to understand some of the major themes in the
discipline as it exists today and how these themes evolved in several steps. Initially,
the seminar will focus on themes that NUPRL faculty members have
developed over the many decades of their careers. The choice of other
themes will depend on students’ interests and preferences; all topics
The secondary goal is to develop basic skills for understanding and
describing research themes. Every student will learn to approach a theme
by reading a series of papers, preparing an annotated bibliography,
and presenting the key steps in the evolution of the theme.
The intended audience consists of PhD students who will write a
dissertation in the area and MS/undergraduate students who wish to deepen their
understanding of the programming language area. PhD students at all
stages of research will benefit. Someone close to the writing stage
will have a chance to develop the bibliography for the chapter on
background work; students at an early stage can use this opportunity
to find, refine, or reject an idea for dissertation research.
Prerequisites Ideally, a PhD student should have taken Intensive
Principles of Programming Languages. An undergraduate or an MS student should
have taken Principles of Programming Languages and studied some additional
topics of interest outside of courses.