Undergraduate Course: Types and Semantics for Programming Languages (INFR11114)
|School||School of Informatics
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||Type systems and semantics are mathematical tools for precisely describing aspects of programming language. A type system imposes constraints on programs in order to guarantee their safe execution, whilst a semantics specifies what a program will do when executed. This course gives an introduction to the main ideas and methods of type systems and semantics. This enables a deeper understanding of existing programming languages, as well as the ability to design and specify new language features. The course also introduces relevant parts of logic and discrete mathematics used to describe types and semantics.
- Inductive definitions and proof by induction
- Products, sums, unit, empty, and implication.
- Intuitionistic and classical logic.
- Universals and existentials.
- Lists and higher-order types.
- Simply-typed lambda calculus. Variable binding.
- Call-by-value and call-by-name.
- Small-step operational semantics.
- Progress and preservation.
- Type inference.
- Untyped lambda calculus.
Relevant QAA Computing Curriculum Sections: Comparative Programming Languages, Compilers and Syntax Directed Tools, Programming Fundamentals, Theoretical Computing
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| This course is open to all Informatics students including those on joint degrees. For external students where this course is not listed in your DPT, please seek special permission from the course organiser.
Some mathematical aptitude is also expected.
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Short exercises every other week.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S1 (December)||Types and Semantics for Programming Languages; Programming Examination||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Write inductive definitions and prove properties of them using induction.
- Exploit the connection between logic and type systems, where propositions correspond to types and proofs correspond to programs; understand how conjunction corresponds to products, disjunction to sums, and implication to functions.
- Read and understand the presentation of operational semantics and type systems via inference rules for lambda calculus, and be able to modify such a presentation to include a new language feature, such as exceptions.
- Write a formal semantics for a programming language in the operational style, given a careful informal description of the language.
- State and prove the preservation and progress theorems that link operational semantics and type systems.
|* Philip Wadler, Programming Language Foundations in Agda [Required reading. Available online: plfa.inf.ed.ac.uk]|
* Benjamin Pierce, et al, Software Foundations, 2012. [Optional reading. Available online: softwarefoundations.cis.upenn.edu]
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Prof Philip Wadler
Tel: (0131 6)50 5174
|Course secretary||Mrs Helen Tweedale
Tel: (0131 6)50 3827