COT5315: Foundations of Programming Languages and Software Systems


The foundations of programming languages are introduced at an advanced level. Course topics include but are not limited to the foundational and conceptual subtleties in programming language design and implementation, practical aspects in programming language use, the functional programming paradigm, the logic programming paradigm, parallel programming language concepts and constructs, formal specification of syntax and semantics, and techniques for (semi-)automatic correctness analysis of programs.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course the student will be able to


Course Web Site
Professor Robert van Engelen
Email: engelen at cs dot fsu dot edu
Office: 259LOV
Office hours: TBD
Steven Bronson
Email: bronson at cs dot fsu dot edu
Office: TBD
Office hours: TBD
COP4020 Programming Languages or equivalent;
MAD3105 Discrete Mathematics II
Textbook Resources
Syntax and Semantics of Programming Languages by Ken Slonneger and Barry Kurtz
Types and Programming Languages by Benjamin Pierce
Functional Programming by A.J. Field and P.G. Harrison
Lecture Notes
Lecture talk notes (an evolving document to be converted to WikiMedia)
Some older lecture notes
When and Where?
202 MCH on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 PM to 1:45 PM.
Teaching Assistant
Office hours: N/A.
Exams and Grading
One midterm exam (25%) and one final exam (25%), homework and project assignments (45%), and class attendance (5%). Details on the grading policy, grade breakdown, and exam material can be found on the COT5315 exam page. Exam dates are scheduled in advance. A grade of zero will be recorded for missed exams unless prior arrangements have been made.
All exams and assignments must be completed individually, unless stated otherwise. Copying solutions is considered cheating. Submitted source code listings will be compared. Keep a copy of the listings to provide evidence of creative work. Students are expected to uphold the Honor Code, see also below. Any student involved in cheating is in violation of the Honor code. Consult the "Student Handbook" for more details on the Honor code.

Computer Accounts

You will need an account to log on to the Computer Science department machines. If you don’t have one, visit the system info site:

Schedule, Lecture Notes, and Assignments

The schedule is pending and will be based on the lecture notes.

Assignments will be posted on a regular basis. All assignments are mandatory and part of the final grade. The assignments, when turned in before or at the due date before midnight will be graded. When turned in late, 5% will be deducted from the project grade per day until the submission has been received, with a maximum extension of five days.

Submit your assignments to the instructor by email. Please send only one email message that includes all sources of your programming assignment, the input and output files (when applicable), and a Makefile. Use the tar utility to compress and archive the material for inclusion as an attachment in the email message (preferably use tar to avoid zipped files from being filtered). Use the email subject line "PROJECT #" for projects and "HOMEWORK #" for homework, where # is the homework/assignment number. Also, please include your name and the assignment number in the program source code


First class attendance is mandatory. Attendance during exams is also mandatory unless prior arrangements have been made. Attendance will be recorded. Two unexcused absences are permitted. You will lose the 5% of your final grade for attendance when absent for three or more lectures, unless prior arrangements have been made or for excused absences.

Excused absences include documented illness, deaths in the immediate family and other documented crises, call to active military duty or jury duty, religious holy days, and official University activities. Accommodations for these excused absences will be made and will do so in a way that does not penalize students who have a valid excuse. Consideration will also be given to students whose dependent children experience serious illness.

Academic Honor Policy

The Florida State University Academic Honor Policy outlines the University’s expectations for the integrity of students’ academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process.  Students are responsible for reading the Academic Honor Policy and for living up to their pledge to “. . . be honest and truthful and . . . [to] strive for personal and institutional integrity at Florida State University.”  (Florida State University Academic Honor Policy, found at


Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should:
(1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center; and
(2) bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type. This should be done during the first week of class.

This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative format upon request.

For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact the:

Student Disability Resource Center
97 Woodward Avenue, South
108 Student Services Building
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4167
(850) 644-9566 (voice)
(850) 644-8504 (TDD)

Copyright: Robert van Engelen, Florida State University, 2011.
Last modified: November 27, 2011