2017 Spring - 406 - Compiler Construction - Syllabus
This class is taught by Jay McCarthy
. Call him Jay. Email him at first-name DOT last-name AT gmail DOT com
We meet in Olsen 401 at 1100-1215.
Jay’s office hours are TR 0730-1230 in Olsen 221.
There is a mailing list hosted at Google Groups
Use it to ask non-revealing questions and receive answers, as well as
general course announcements. You are responsible for reading the
content of this mailing list.
1 Important Course Details
Includes both theory and practice. A study of grammars,
specification and classes, the translation pipeline: lexical analysis,
parsing, semantic analysis, code generation and optimization, and
syntax-directed translation. Use of automatic generation tools in the
actual production of a complete compiler for some language.
This course provides the following Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs):
Information Literacy (IL): The ability to use digital technologies, communication tools and/or networks to define a problem or an information need; devise an effective search strategy;identify, locate, and evaluate appropriate sources; and manage, synthesize, use and effectively communicate information ethically and legally.
Applied and Integrative Learning (AIL): Applied and Integrative Learning is an understanding and disposition that a student builds across curriculum and co-curriculum, fostering learning between courses or by connecting courses to experiential learning opportunities.
Policy. We do not allow electronic devices, such as
laptops, phones, and tablets, to be used during class, without an
explicit accomodation exception. I will first ask you to put it away
and then I will ask you to leave.
2 Lectures, Assignments, and Exercises
Heap Allocation and GC
Heap Allocation and GC
Heap Allocation and GC
Functions and Closures
Functions and Closures
EC 6 & 7
Functions and Closures
EC 11 (see Waddel 1997)
Jay will be away.
Naive Expansion by Example
Hygeine through Marks
Sets of Scopes
Links: 23-Talk 1.mov 23-Talk 2.mov
Links: LLVM Manual
Links: 25-expanded.rkt 25.rkt
We will meet at 1130-1430.
3 Work in this Course
If you do a little work for this course every day, including
reading the textbook and doing the exercises, you will find the exams
and papers easy to write. If you just search for answers in course
material as you try to complete work, you will not do well.
I highly recommend that you read
about grading. I also recommend you read
about the stress that you may experience in a computer
science program. Please try to make healthy productive choices in your
life. I would love the opportunity to help you in any ways I can.
In the Lectures, Assignments, and Exercises table above, a number of exercises
are referenced. You are not required to do them, but I highly
recommend that you complete these. Exams may reference material from
class, from the reading, or from these exercises. If you do not do the
exercises, then there will be exam questions which will be
unintelligible and nigh impossible for you to answer successfully. If
you would like to discuss your solution to them, please meet me in my
office. I will not review solutions via email, but I will answer
I will not review or discuss your paper via email, but I am
happy to discuss it with you in my office.
You hand in your paper by putting them on the lectern at the
start of class on the day they are due. No papers will be accepted at
any other time, for any reason. No papers will be acceped
electronically. If you cannot turn in your work personally, you may
have a friend do it.
Your turn-in must clearly have your name on it and indicate
which option you chose.
Your turn-in must be prepared electronically. I recommend using
. You must use 0.5"
margins, the font Times New Roman at 11pt, and single-spacing. Each
page must be numbered in the footer. You must print with black
ink (color may be used in diagrams, but not in the text) on white
paper. If your printer is low on ink or toner, find another one rather
than giving me something that is faded. I recommend using only mild
formating. You should not include long quotes, code samples, or large
diagrams. You should reference sources using the BibTeX
Your turn-in must be stapled together. It is your responsible to
ensure this is the case.
You may not turn in more than five pieces of paper. You probably
want to turn in exactly five pieces of paper. This means ten "pages"
of content, although since references count it may be more like nine.
Work that is incorrectly formatted will be returned ungraded and
I will consider it as though you never turned it in.
Your paper will receive a grade from the closed interval between
0 and 1. I will evaluate your paper based on the
veracity of its content, its logical structure, as well as its
grammar, style, and form.
I will not review or discuss your presentation via email, but I
am happy to discuss it with you in my office, although naturally it is
hard to separate the actual presentation from the planning of it, so
you are mostly on your own.
You must schedule an appointment with me to meet in my office to
give your presentation. I will not remind you of this requirement or
of when your appointment is. You will only have one chance to give
your presentation and only at the time you originally scheduled. You
should plan to present for about fifteen minutes.
You may use a whiteboard and markers or a notepad and pen for
You may not use any computer software during the presentation,
although if you are presenting code, etc, you can email it to me
beforehand and I can have it available for you.
You may bring one 3" by 5" ruled index card of notes, if you
Your presentation will receive a grade from the closed interval
between 0 and 1. I will evaluate your presentation
based on the veracity of its content, its logical structure, as well
as its style and form.
Exams must be taken in person, at the scheduled time.
Exams must be completed without any notes, books, or resources
of any kind.
You must use 8.5" by 11" College Ruled paper without
frill and write using a black pen. You are responsible for my ability
to read and understand your writing and diagrams.
Your exams must clearly have your name on it.
You may not hand in more than five pages and individual answers
must not use more than a single piece of paper (front and back.) These
pages must be stapled together, which you are responsible for. I
recommend pre-stapling your paper before the exam.
Exams that are incorrectly formatted will be returned ungraded
and I will consider it as though you never turned it in.
Your exams will receive a grade from the closed interval between
0 and 1.25. I will evaluate your exam based on the
veracity of its content and the logical structure of your answers.
In your exam, you will be provided four groups of two
questions. You can answer one question from each group. After you
answer one question from each group, you may answer a single other
question (i.e. answering two questions for one group.) If you provide
answers for more than five questions or two for more than one group,
then I will return your exam ungraded as though you never turned it
in. Each question will be equally weighted at 0.25.
Nearly all exam questions are best answered using all of the
available space. If you can’t write more than a paragraph, then you
probably don’t really understand the question well enough to answer it
3.5 Class Numeric Grade
This function takes your turn-ins and combines them into a numeric grade:
|> (define (combine paper midterm pres final)|
| (+ (* 0.2 paper) (* 0.2 midterm)|
| (* 0.3 pres) (* 0.3 final)))|
|> (combine 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0)|
|> (combine 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5)|
|> (combine 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.0)|
|> (combine 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.25)|
|> (combine 0.0 1.25 0.0 1.25)|
|> (combine 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0)|
|> (combine 1.0 1.25 1.0 1.25)|
This function is designed to allow you to perform poorly at the
beginning of the course, but still recover and end with a good grade.
3.6 Course Letter Grade
The following function to converts your numeric grade into a letter grade:
|> (define (convert-to-letter ng)|
| [(> ng 0.93) "A"]|
| [(> ng 0.9) "A-"]|
| [(> ng 0.86) "B+"]|
| [(> ng 0.83) "B"]|
| [(> ng 0.8) "B-"]|
| [(> ng 0.76) "C+"]|
| [(> ng 0.73) "C"]|
| [(> ng 0.7) "C-"]|
| [(> ng 0.66) "D+"]|
| [(> ng 0.6) "D"]|
| [else "F"]))|
|> (convert-to-letter 1)|
|> (convert-to-letter 0.94)|
|> (convert-to-letter 0.899999)|
|> (convert-to-letter 0.81)|
|> (convert-to-letter 0.74)|
|> (convert-to-letter 0.6999999)|
|> (convert-to-letter 0.62)|
|> (convert-to-letter 0.57)|
3.7 Graduate Student Option
If you are taking the class as a graduate class, then you must
do either two paper options or two presentation options. The extra
assignment you do will be due by the date of the final. In addition,
your work will be graded to a higher standard than the other
My job is to help you.
One of the best ways for me to help you is to teach you how to
help yourself. The main way I will put this idea into practice is that
I will not answer your question until you have shown that you’ve read
the relevant part of the textbook and have a concrete question or
point of confusion about it.
If you need a "shallow" amount of help, then look at the
. First, see if I have already
answered your question. Then, send your own email.
Only send me personal email if you need to talk about something
private, such as your grades. Anything else is best discussed in
public, so others can benefit. If you do send personal email, put
[CS406] as a prefix in the subject.
If you need a "deep" amount of help, please come to my office or
call me (801-361-0732) and we’ll talk and try to resolve whatever ails
5 Fine Print
In this course, all work is to be each student’s own.
Students should therefore be familiar with the University’s rules on
academic dishonesty, which can be found in the Bulletin of
Undergraduate Studies and in the Schedule of Classes. In particular,
plagiarism will not be tolerated! Any student caught plagiarizing
another’s work will automatically receive a grade of F for the course.
If you are unsure as to what constitutes plagiarism, it is your
responsibility to check with the instructor. Other forms of dishonesty
will result in similar actions. You may collaborate with your
classmates on the design and results of the programs you will write in
this course, but each student must implement these programs alone.
Submission of shared student code is not permissible, and will result
in a grade of F for the course. Help files are typically provided for
each programming assignment, and students are encouraged to cut and
paste useful code from these help files into their assignment
submissions, but all other code must be the specific work of each
You are not allowed to post solution code to problem
sets assigned in this class in public places (e.g. Github). This
includes your own solutions as well as solutions that may be provided
by the instructors.
This policy is a courtesy to future students, who — to
the fullest extent possible — should have the opportunity to struggle
with the problems in the same way that you do.
Non-compliance will be pursued rigorously per UMass
Lowell’s academic integrity policy.