CS410AP/510AP Advanced Programming

Winter 2009

Credit Hours: 4 for undergraduates (CS410), 3 for graduates (CS510)

Lectures   Assignments   Squeak Resources   Haskell Resources   Mailing list


Professors: Mark P. Jones <mpj> & Andrew P. Black <black>

Black's office hours: Monday 16:00–17:30, Thursday 10:30–11:50

Jones' office hours: Monday 13:00–15:00, or by appointment

Teaching assistant: Juncao Li <cs410aph>

TA office hours: Wednesday 16:00–17:00, Thursday 14:00–15:00 at office FAB115-07

Course Description

This course exposes students to the depth and breadth of modern programming practice, with the goal of making students better programmers. This course is not a "package tour" of programming languages, but an in-depth programming course that teaches students how to use functional and object-oriented programming techniques effectively.

Many of the same concepts and principles apply to both the object-oriented and the functional paradigms, and are indeed fundamental to the activity of programming. These include parametrization, the use of Closures, Polymorphism, Overloading (viewed as implicit parameterization), Types, Recursion in Data Structures, Inheritance, and Compositionality. Underlying all of these concepts is the recognition that the programmer's chief task is to master complexity, and to use their chosen programming language to communicate to the programmers who come after them how they have done so.

Prerequisites by Topic

Students should have some experience programming in both the functional style, in a language like LISP, ML, or Haskell, and in the Object-oriented style, in a language like C++, Java or Smalltalk. It is not necessary to be a Smalltalk or Haskell expert (although experts are welcome, and will still learn a lot from this course).

Course Goals

After completion of the couse, students will be able to:

  1. Select approriate names for their functions and methods.
  2. Decompose methods and functions into components at the same level of abstraction.
  3. Analyse a problem and determine what problem elementgs to represent as functions or objects
  4. Deal with complex data objects as whole entities, rather than by twiddling with their elements
  5. Effectively use parameterization and inheritance to promot reuse
  6. Use closures to encapsulate computations
  7. Build recursive data structures and recursive operations over those data strauctures
  8. Use tools such as type systems, unit tests and random testing to guarantee the integrity of their programs
  9. Compose more complex programs from simpler parts
  10. Write the simplest possible program that solves a given problem while explaining to the reader how it solves that problem



Course References

The following books are recommended

  1. Squeak by Example. Everything you need to know to become proficient in Squeak Smalltalk. Prof. Black is one of the authors.
  2. The Haskell School of Expression: Learning Functional Programming through Multimedia


A programming assignment will be given each week. Students will be expected to complete the assignments and discuss and defend their code in class.

Assignments will described on the course website.