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COMS 4115: Programming Language & Translators, Fall 2020



This class will discuss principles of design and implementation of compilers. In particular, we will learn about different phases of a compiler including lexical analysis, syntactic and semantic analysis including type checking, code generation, and optimization. We will also study basic program analysis techniques required to perform compiler optimization.

Students will learn the materials by building new modules on top of an existing compiler (Clang/LLVM) in their programming assignments.

Details about the course materials can be found here.

Lecture Details

          Instructor: Baishakhi Ray 
Class Schedule: Monday and Wednesday 1:10 PM - 2:25 PM
           Location: Online (Zoom Link will be posted in Coursework and Piazza)
     Office Hours:  Wednesday 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm /appointment 

                 Q&A Forum: Piazza

                           Trivia: FAQ

 Office Hours Location: Online (Zoom Link will be posted in Coursework and Piazza)

Teaching Assistants


Submission Links


  • Programming Assignments: 40%     

  • Written Assignments: 10%

  • Midterm: 25%

  • Final: 25%

  • Extra Credit: 10%

Tentative Schedule

  • Prog0 (Github Setup. due: 16th September)

  • Prog1 (due: 30th September)

  • Prog0 due

  • Lexical Analysis (continues)

  • Lexical Analysis (continues)

  • Lexical Analysis (Continues)

  • LLVM/Clang 

  • Prog2.1: Setup LLVM/Clang (due: 5th October)

  • Prog2.2 (due: 14th October)

  • Prog1 due

  • Prog2.1 due

  • Syntactic Analysis (continued)

  • Syntactic Analysis (continued)

  • Syntactic Analysis (continued)

  • Prog2.2 due

  • Midterm Exam

  • Recitation

  • No Class

  • Semantic Analysis (continued)

  • Data-flow Analysis (continued)

  • No class

  • Final Exam

Upcoming Events

  • 16th September: Programming assignment 1 released (due 30th September)

  • Programming assignment 0, which requires you to set up Git environment, is due next Wednesday (16th September).

Additional Reading Materials:

  • Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools

       By Alfred V. Aho, Monica S. Lam, Ravi Sethi, and Jeffrey D. Ullman.

       2nd Edition, Addison-Wesley, 2006


  • Research Papers

       Distributed by the instructor


  • Late submissions: No late assignments will be accepted.

  • Academic rules of conduct: Students are expected to adhere to the Academic Honesty policy of the Computer Science Department, this policy can be found in full here.

  • Violations: Violation of any portion of these policies will result in a penalty to be assessed at the instructor's discretion. This may include receiving a zero grade for the assignment in question and a failing grade for the whole course, even for the first infraction.

  • In order to receive disability-related academic accommodations for this course, students must first be registered with their school Disability Services (DS) office. Detailed information is available online for both the Columbia and Barnard registration processes. Refer to the appropriate website for information regarding deadlines, disability documentation requirements, and drop-in hours (Columbia)/intake session (Barnard). Students registered with the Columbia DS office can refer to the Master TARF section of the DS Testing Accommodations page for more information regarding disability-related academic accommodations for this course.

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