CSCE 531: Compiler Construction (Spring 2008)

Prerequisites: CSCE 245 and either CSCE 330 or CSCE 350

Meeting time and venue: MWF 1115-1205 in SWGN 2A21

Instructor: Marco Valtorta
Office: Swaeringen 3A55, 777-4641
Office Hours: MWF, 1400-1500 or by previous appointment.
Teaching Assistant and Grader: TBD


Grading and Program Submission Policy

Reference materials:

  • Watt, David A. and Deryck F. Brown. Programming Language Processors in Java. Prentice-Hall, 2000 (required text). Supplementary materials from the author, including an errata list, are available.
  • Here are the
  • current departmental syllabus for CSCE 531, and the
  • old departmental syllabus for CSCI 531, which is provided for historical information.
  • Specific objectives of this course are:

    Beginning of course questionnaire, with a summary of some answers

    Introductory lectures
    Notes on Denotational Semantics
    More Notes on Denotational Semantics
    Lecture notes for Chapter 1
    Lecture notes for Chapter 2
    Lecture notes for Chapter 3
    Figures for Chapter 3 of Robert Sebesta's Concepts of Programming Languages, Eighth Edition, (local copy), on syntax and semantics (Link to publisher's web site)
    Slides for the above (local copy)
    Lecture notes for Chapter 4
    Lecture notes for Lexical Analysis (part of Chapter 4 and handout)
    Lecture notes for Chapter 5
    Notes on Aspect-Oriented Programming by Mr. Jarrell W. Waggoner (pdf)
    Lecture notes for Chapter 6
    Lecture notes for Chapter 7
    Lecture notes for Chapter 8
    Notes on Paul Graham's reconstruction of John McCarthy's 1960 Lisp interpreter
    Lecture notes for Chapter 9

    Quizzes (In-Class Exercises)
    Quiz 1 of 08-01-18 (with answer)
    Quiz 2 of 08-01-18 (same date as Quiz 1) (with answer)
    Quiz 3 of 08-01-25 (with answer)
    Quiz 4 of 08-02-08 (with answer)
    Quiz 5 of 08-03-31 (with answer)
    Quiz 6 of 08-04-09 (with answer)
    Quiz 7 of 08-04-09 (with answer)
    Quiz 8 of 08-04-18 (with answer)
    Quiz 9 of 08-04-23 (with answer)
    Quiz 10 of 08-04-28 (with answer)

    Old Test 1 with Correction Guide (in postscript format)
    Old Test 1 with Correction Guide (in pdf format)
    Test 2 from Fall 2001 (in postscript format)
    Test 2 from Fall 2001 (in pdf format)
    Topics for the Final
    Final exam from Fall 2001 (in pdf format)
    Final exam from Spring 2002 (in pdf format), with partial correction guide

    Homework and Projects
    See lecture log for a more complete list, which includes assignments for which no handout was given.
    Points per assignment.
    Programming Assignment 1: assigned February 22 and due February 27.
    Programming Assignment 2: assigned February 22 and due February 29.
    Term Project: assigned April 14 and due April 28.
    Some known Triangle compiler bugs and related problems in compilation of the compiler code.
    Grading policy and test cases for the term project.

    Programs A brief guide to the Triangle language processor.

    Lecture Log

    The USC Blackboard has a site for this course.

    Some useful links:
    An article on the importance of learning multiple programming languages (including functional ones)
    John Backus's Obituary from the New York Times, 2007-03-20.
    Paper by Paul Graham on John McCarthy's original LISP interpreter.
    Paper by Paul Graham on John McCarthy's original LISP interpreter (pdf, local copy, one page per sheet, version of January 18, 2002)
    Local copy of the paper on the original LISP interpreter: postscript, two pages per sheet, version of May 1, 2002.
    Local copy of the paper on the original LISP interpreter: pdf, two pages per sheet, version of May 1, 2002.
    How to use your cse email account.
    A site on decompilers. (It includes text of a dissertation. This pointer is provided to follow up on a question by a student in an earlier edition of the course.)
    Norman Matloff's Introduction to the vi Text editor
    Norman Matloff's Unix Tutorial Center