Foundations of Computing - LINGUAGGI (2010/2011)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Massimo Merro
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre dal Oct 4, 2010 al Jan 31, 2011.
Web page

To show the organization of the course that includes this module, follow this link * Course organization

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to present the theoretical basis of programming languages. A number of paradigmatic untyped and typed languages will be introduced. The entire course will focus on the concepts of operational semantics and type system. Formal techniques for verifying the behaviour of programs will be introduced.


(i) Mathematical induction over the natural numbers;
(ii) Structural induction;
(iii) Rule induction.
Operational semantics:
Big step and small step semantics for simple languages including
(i) Exp, Bool, languages for arithmetic and Boolean expressions
(ii) the imperative language of while commands While
(iii)the functional languages Fun and Lambda and simple variations on them; call-by-name and call-by-value semantics.
(i) Typing assignments for the languages Fun and Lambda
(ii) Progress and preservation.
(iii) For Lambda you should be familiar with the computational consequences of using types; in particular the need for explicit fixpoint operators.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Carl A. Gunter Semantics of Programming Languages MIT Press 1992 0262570955
G. Winskel The formal Semantics of Programming Languages MIT Press 1993

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam consists of a written and oral test.

Teaching aids