About the content
Investigate the basic concepts behind programming languages, with an emphasis on the techniques and benefits of functional programming. Use the programming languages ML, Racket, and Ruby to learn how the pieces of a language fit together to create more than the sum of the parts. Gain new software skills and the concepts needed to learn new languages on your own.
Note: About half the students completing prior offerings report an estimated workload of 8-12 hours / week is accurate while most of the other half spent more time -- 15 hours / week or more. Workload naturally differs for different people depending on one's background. Do see the recommended-background section below.
Topics (most of which may not mean anything to you until you take the course):
- Syntax vs. semantics vs. idioms vs. libraries vs. tools
- ML basics (bindings, conditionals, records, functions)
- Recursive functions and recursive types
- Benefits of no mutation
- Algebraic datatypes, pattern matching
- Tail recursion
- First-class functions and function closures
- Lexical scope
- Syntactic sugar
- Equivalence and effects
- Parametric polymorphism and container types
- Type inference
- Abstract types and modules
- Racket basics
- Dynamic vs. static typing
- Laziness, streams, and memoization
- Implementing languages, especially higher-order functions
- Ruby basics
- Object-oriented programming is dynamic dispatch
- Pure object-orientation
- Implementing dynamic dispatch
- Multiple inheritance, interfaces, and mixins
- OOP vs. functional decomposition and extensibility
- Subtyping for records, functions, and objects
- Class-based subtyping
- Subtyping vs. parametric polymorphism; bounded polymorphism
- - Computer Science & Engineering
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