Prof. Nada Amin
Spring 2022

Lectures: Tu,Th 11:15am-12:30pm
Location: SEC LL2.224 Lecture Hall


Course information

This course is an introduction to the theory, design, and implementation of programming languages. Topics covered in this course include: formal semantics of programming languages (operational, axiomatic, denotational, and translational), type systems, higher-order functions and lambda calculus, laziness, continuations, dynamic types, monads, objects, modules, concurrency, and communication.

See the lecture schedule for more detailed information on topics covered.

Course staff

See below for Office Hours.

All questions and issues related to assignments, course content, etc., should be sent to or discussed on Ed. Questions related to grades, special consideration, etc. can be sent directly to Prof. Amin. In general, sending email to individual course staff will delay a response. Note that course staff may take up to 48 hours to respond.

Time and place

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:15am-12:30pm, SEC LL2.224 Lecture Hall.


Computer Science 51 and Computer Science 121 are recommended but not required. Students must have good programming skills notably with pattern matching, be very comfortable with recursion, proofs, basic mathematical ideas and notations, including sets, relations, functions, and induction. See the schedule for some suggested background reading on some of these concepts. Feel free to contact the instructor if you have questions about the requirements or other aspects of the course.

Two points to emphasize: (1) this is not an introduction to programming; students should already know how to program, ideally in at least couple of languages. (2) you must be very comfortable with recursion, proofs, basic mathematical ideas and notations, including sets, relations, functions, and induction.

Try the self assessment to help figure out whether you have sufficient mathematical preparation for this course.

Homeworks, exams, and grading

There will be a midterm and a final exam. There will be about 6 homework assignments. Some of the assignments will contain a programming component in OCaml, Coq and Haskell and some other languages. Prior knowledge of these languages is not required.

Your grade will be determined by a weighted average of your scores on homework assignments, the midterm exam, the final exam, and class participation. The percentage breakdown (roughly and subject to change) is 50% homework assignments, 20% midterm, 25% final exam, and 5% participation (which includes attendance and participation in class, section, and office hours, and contributing to online discussion).


There is no required textbook for the course. In most cases, the class materials should suffice. The instructor will provide written lecture notes where helpful.

See the Resources page for additional material that you can examine.


See here for more information.


Sections are held:

Section attendance is not required. All sections in the same week will cover the same material. Sections will, for the most part, focus on worked examples and exercises to consolidate material covered in the previous week in class. You should feel free to come to section with questions. We will release practice problems a few days before section. More information can be found here.

Office hours

Prof. Nada Amin holds office hours by appointment. Do not hesitate to get in touch after class or by email.

The Teaching Fellows will use this Google calendar for office hour times:

Course Policies

See the Course Policies page for more information about course policies, including Diversity and Inclusion, Inclusive Learning and Accessibility, Mental Health, Financial Aid, Late minutes, Penalties, and Extensions, and Collaboration and Academic Integrity.