CSci 4651 Programming Languages.

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History of programming languages, formal specification of syntax and semantics of programming languages from a variety of paradigms (procedural, functional, logic-programming, object-oriented, and parallel paradigms), modern language features. 4 credits.
Prerequisites: 2101, or consent of instructor.

On this page you will find information about:

Class meetings

When: M, W, F 10:30-11:35am
Where: Sci 2185, occasionally in the CSci lab (Sci 2610)


Elena Machkasova
Office: Sci 2325, Phone: 6308
Office hours: M, W 3:30-5pm, Tue 10am-noon, Th 1-2pm, or arrange by e-mail.
elenam at

Textbooks and other resources

Concepts, Techniques, and Models of Computer Programming by Peter Van Roy and Seif Haridi (available at the University bookstore).
Here is the book web site by the authors:

In addition to the book I will assign extra reading material, such as papers, handouts, manuals for languages and tools used in class, etc. These materials will be posted on the resources page.


Your grade for this course will be based (approximately) on the following:

Problem sets 50%
Midterm exam 20%
Final exam 20%
In-class quizzes 5%
Class participation 5%

Class participation portion of the grade includes questions asked during the class, participation in discussion of the assigned reading materials (the textbook and the articles), and answering questions during the class.

Grading policies

Basic Grading Scheme: (100-90)% A; (90-80)% B; (80-70)% C; (70-60)% D; below 60% F. Small adjustments may be made for particularly good final exams, class average and other signs of individual effort.

Official Grading Policies:

A achievement that is outstanding relative to the level necessary to meet course requirements.
B achievement that is significantly above the level necessary to meet course requirements.
C achievement that meets the course requirements in every respect.
D achievement that is worthy of credit even though it fails to meet fully the course requirements.
S achievement that is satisfactory, which is equivalent to a C- or better (achievement required for an S is at the discretion of the instructor but may be no lower than a C-).
F (or N) Represents failure (or no credit) and signifies that the work was either (1) completed but at a level of achievement that is not worthy of credit or (2) was not completed and there was no agreement between the instructor and the student that the student would be awarded an I (see also I)
I Incomplete. Assigned at the discretion of the instructor when, due to extraordinary circumstances, e.g., hospitalization, a student is prevented from completing the work of the course on time. Requires a written agreement between instructor and student.

Collaboration policies; Late and missed work policies

You are welcome to use any textbooks and/or online materials. If such materials made a substantial contribution to your homework assignment, please acknowledge the source and the exact contribution. If you plan to use extra sources for an exam (in-class or take home), please get my OK first. Otherwise such a use would be considered a violation of course policies.

If a problem set is submitted at (or before) the next class meeting after the due date, it is graded out of 3/4 credit. If it is submitted any time after the next meeting (until the last day to submit all late work - it will be announced in class), then it is graded out of 1/2 credit.

A take-home exam must be submitted on time, otherwise it will not be graded.


One credit is defined as equivalent to an average of three hours of learning effort per week (over a full semester) necessary for an average student to achieve an average grade in the course. For example, a student taking a four credit course that meets for three hours a week should expect to spend an additional nine hours a week on coursework outside the classroom.

Academic dishonesty:

Scholastic dishonesty is defined in the University Student Conduct Code. If in doubt as to how the code is applicable to a specific assignment or other course-related work, please ask.

Academic dishonesty in any portion of the academic work for a course shall be grounds for a penalty, up to and including awarding a grade of F or N for the entire course.

Problem set collaboration policy:

Problem sets are individual work, unless specifically designated as work in groups. For guidelines on work in groups please see the syllabus. Discussion with students other than those in your group (or anyone not in this class) should be limited to general approaches to the problem. All such discussions as well as use of sources other than the textbook and the handouts given in class must be acknowledged in the beginning of the problem solution.

Classroom conduct:

Students are expected to interact with the instructor and other students with respect and courtesy. Students should attend every class session prepared to learn and work. Participation in class is expected, which includes both listening and speaking up. Note the policy on Academic Freedom and Responsibility. Students are expected to ask questions about the course material as needed, either in class or during the instructor's office hours, or by e-mail.

Do not use cell phones or other loud or otherwise disruptive equipment in class without the instructor's consent. Students whose behavior is disruptive either to the instructor or to other students may be asked to leave. Students whose behavior suggests the need for counseling or other assistance may be referred to counseling services. Students whose behavior violates the University Student Conduct Code will be subject to disciplinary action.

Accommodations for students with disabilities:

The University of Minnesota is committed to providing all students equal access to learning opportunities. Disability Services is the campus office that works with students who have disabilities to provide and/or arrange reasonable accommodations. Students registered with Disability Services, who have a letter requesting accommodations, are encouraged to contact the instructor early in the semester. Students who have, or think they may have, a disability (e.g. psychiatric, attentional, learning, vision, hearing, physical, or systemic), are invited to contact Disability Services for a confidential discussion at 589-6178 or e-mail dsoacc at morris dot umn dot edu or Room 362 Briggs Library.

As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce your ability to participate in daily activities. University of Minnesota services are available to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus via

Sexual harassment policies:

University policy prohibits sexual harassment as defined by the University of Minnesota Regents' policy.