CSCI 360
Programming Languages


MWF 10:10-11:00am (A3)


MC Reynolds 115


Dr. Brent Yorgey
(501) 450-1377
Office Hours


Although you will probably never need to implement your own full-blown programming language from scratch, thinking in terms of language design is a powerful problem solving technique. In this hands-on course you will develop programming language design and implementation skills through a number of examples, using the Haskell programming languages. Topics to be covered include parsing, type checking, interpreters, abstraction, compositionality, and embedded domain-specific languages. As a final project, each student creates and implements a domain-specific language of their own design.

Learning Goals

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:



Assignment submission form

Date Lectures and Modules Notes
  stream = video       hask = Haskell code  
W 18 Jan 0: Introduction to CSCI 360  
  1: Introduction to Haskell hask  
F 20 Jan Haskell in context stream hask CSCI student info survey due
M 23 Jan 2: Algebraic data types and pattern-matching hask Grading contract due
    Modules 0 and 1 due
W 25 Jan Algebraic data types and pattern-matching stream  
F 27 Jan Algebraic data types in context stream hask  
M 30 Jan 3: Polymorphism and lists hask Module 2 due
    Swarm tutorials 1-9 (through “Build”) due
W 1 Feb No class (ice)  
F 3 Feb Polymorphism and lists stream hask Project 1 assigned
M 6 Feb 4: Syntax and semantics hask Module 3 due
    Swarm tutorials (“Bind notation”, “Define”, and “Lambda”) due
W 8 Feb Syntax and semantics  
F 10 Feb Programming language pipeline stream pdf  
M 13 Feb 5: Pretty-printing and parsing hask Module 4 due
W 15 Feb Operator precedence stream pdf  
F 17 Feb The Shunting Yard Algorithm and parsing stream hask  
M 20 Feb No class (mid-winter break)  
T 21 Feb   Module 5 due
W 22 Feb 6: Parser combinators hask Contract evaluation due
F 24 Feb More parser combinators stream Project 1 due
M 27 Feb Yet more parser combinators  
  Norbert.hs, stream  
W 1 Mar 7: Variables hask Module 6 due, Project 2 assigned
F 3 Mar More variables  
M 6 Mar Module 7 review stream  
  8: Dealing with errors hask Module 7 due
W 8 Mar More module 8  
F 10 Mar Arith with functions stream hask  
M 13 Mar 9: Dynamic type checking hask Module 8 due
W 15 Mar More module 9  
F 17 Mar Type systems stream pdf Project 2 due
M 20 Mar No class (spring break)  
W 22 Mar No class (spring break)  
F 24 Mar No class (spring break)  
M 27 Mar Project 3 introduction; type systems stream pdf  
  10: Static type checking hask Project 3 assigned
W 29 Mar More module 10 Module 9 due
F 31 Mar Static type checking for functions stream hask Contract evaluation due
M 3 Apr 11: IMP hask Module 10 due
W 5 Apr More module 11  
F 7 Apr Extending IMP stream  
M 10 Apr 12: Quilt EDSL hask Module 11 due
  quilt.cabal, stack.yaml  
W 12 Apr More module 12  
F 14 Apr EDSL examples stream hask Project 3 due, Final project assigned
M 17 Apr 13: Quilt Deep EDSL hask  
  quilt.cabal, stack.yaml  
W 19 Apr More module 13 Module 12 due, Final project proposal due
F 21 Apr No class  
M 24 Apr Programming language history  
W 26 Apr ???  
F 28 Apr Module + Project workshop Module 13 due
Th 4 May Final project presentations 8:30-11:30am


Grading contracts

In this course, you determine your own final grade: you will prepare and submit for my approval a grading contract explaining your chosen final grade and what you will do to achieve it. You will then earn your chosen final grade by fulfilling the agreed-upon contract.

This may be different than what you are used to. Professor Cathy Davidson of CUNY perfectly sums up the reasons for doing things this way:

The advantage of contract grading is that you, the student, decide how much work you wish to do this semester; if you complete that work on time and satisfactorily, you will receive the grade for which you contracted. This means planning ahead, thinking about all of your obligations and responsibilities this semester and also determining what grade you want or need in this course. The advantage of contract grading to the professor is no whining, no special pleading, on the student’s part. If you complete the work you contracted for, you get the grade. Done. I respect the student who only needs a C, who has other obligations that preclude doing all of the requirements to earn an A in the course, and who contracts for the C and carries out the contract perfectly.

Required components of a grading contract

There is no specific format required for a grading contract, but it must have the following components:

Example grading contract

For example, a grading contract might look like this:

My desired course grade in Programming Languages is a C. To achieve this grade, I will complete the following:

Grading contract submission

You must turn in an initial proposed grading contract by the start of class on Monday, January 23rd. After the initial submission, I may require some revisions before I approve your contract.

Contract evaluation and adjustment

Two times during the semester (Wednesday, February 22 and Friday, March 31) you are required to reflect on your progress in the course and complete an evaluation of your work, comparing it against what you agreed to in your grading contract. Your evaluation should:

  1. Contain a copy of your original grading contract, with items you have completed checked off.

  2. Revise your grading contract with more specific details as appropriate, for example, regarding which modules and projects you intend to complete.

  3. Include a 1-2 paragraph reflection, which answers questions such as the following:

    • What have you done well?
    • What have you learned?
    • What could you do to improve your learning?
    • What could I (the instructor) do to improve your learning?
    • Are there ways in which you have not lived up to the requirements of your contract, and if so, what steps are you taking, or will you take, to rectify that?

Your evaluation is also an opportunity to request an adjustment to your contract in either direction. If you find that you will be unable to meet the obligations of your contract, you may request to move to the next lowest grade and its requirements. Contrariwise, if you find that you’ve been performing above the obligations of your contract, you may request to fulfill the requirements for the next higher grade.

Note, however, that you don’t have to wait for an evaluation to adjust your contract. If your life has really gone off the rails (or if, say, you are finding the class easier and more enjoyable than you thought!) just come and talk to me about adjusting your contract.

A, B, and C grades

D and F grades

[Adapted from Cathy Davidson.] You cannot intentionally contract for a grade of D (and certainly not for an F). However, I reserve the right to award a grade of D or F to anyone who fails to meet their contractual obligations in a systematic way. A “D” grade denotes some minimal fulfilling of the contract; an “F” denotes absence of enough satisfactory work, as contracted, to warrant passing of the course. Both a “D” and “F” denote a breakdown of the contractual relationship.


Assignment submission form

Much of your learning in the course will take place through modules which will be started during class time in teams of 2 or 3. Each module will guide you through a learning process on a particular topic. Modules not completed during class time should be completed with your group outside of class. Completed modules will generally be due by the end of the day on the first Monday after the module was assigned.

Submitted modules will be graded on a credit/no credit basis. Modules not receiving credit may be revised and resubmitted for 1/2 token per group member.

A submitted module will either receive credit or no credit based on whether it is complete and correct. Submitted modules will receive a credit/no credit grade and feedback within two business days of submission.


Assignment submission form

There will be four projects available to complete throughout the semester. These projects will give you a chance to demonstrate and apply the things you have learned through the modules.

Project Assigned Due
Arith compiler F 3 Feb F 17 Feb
Calculator F 24 Feb F 17 Mar
Quilt M 27 Mar F 14 Apr
Final project W 12 Apr Th 4 May


Some weeks, you will be assigned Swarm scenarios to complete. See the Swarm github repo for instructions on building Swarm from source.

For each scenario or scenarios completed, you should submit:

Scenarios Assigned Due
Tutorials 1-9 (up through “Build”) M 23 Jan M 30 Jan
Tutorials “Bind notation”, “Define”, and “Lambda” M 30 Jan M 6 Feb
Challenges > Mazes > Cave shaped maze    
Challenges > Mazes > Spiral shaped maze W 12 Apr W 19 Apr

Creating Swarm challenge scenarios

Take a look at the scenario authoring guide for help on creating your own scenarios.

Tokens, late submissions, and resubmissions

Each student starts the semester with three virtual tokens which they can spend however they wish. Tokens are non-transferable.

Conversely, additional tokens may be earned in the following ways:


Although you and I play different roles in the course, we both have your learning as a common goal. There are things I expect from you as a student in the course, but there are also things you can expect of me as the course instructor and facilitator.

If I am not fulfilling my responsibilities outlined below, you are welcome (and encouraged!) to call me out, perhaps via the anonymous feedback form. I will also initiate a conversation if you are not fulfilling yours. However, none of us will meet all of the expectations perfectly—me included!—so it’s also important that we have grace and patience with one another.

What I expect from you What you can expect from me
  • Check your email and Teams for occasional course announcements.
  • Let me know via email or Teams message if you will need to miss class for some reason.
  • Let me know as soon as possible if you feel you are struggling, would like extra help, or have something going on that will affect your engagement in the course or your ability to fulfill your responsibilities.
  • Clearly communicate expectations, assignment details and dates, and grading standards.
  • Return grades and feedback on submitted work within two business days of submission.
  • Respond to emails within 24 hours.
  • Come prepared to fully engage in class meetings, with distractions minimized, to the best of your ability.
  • Spend time outside of class actively practicing unfamiliar or shaky concepts or skills (not just reading over notes).
  • Have a concrete plan for how we will spend each class meeting, prepared to lead you through the plan.
  • Complete all modules and projects myself, to help ensure they are reasonable and don't hold any unintended surprises.
  • Make myself available to meet outside of class, and give you my full attention during a meeting.
  • Be committed to your learning, open to feedback and willing to respond in substantive ways to your suggestions or concerns.


Attendance in this class is expected, though not required as part of your grade. I appreciate you letting me know when you will need to miss class. Also, if you have been working in a group and need to miss class, it is courteous to let me and your group members know so that we can reassign groups if necessary.

Academic integrity

Hendrix College is committed to high standards of honesty and fairness in academic pursuits. Such standards are central to the process of intellectual inquiry, the development of character, and the preservation of the integrity of the community. Please familiarize yourself with the statement of Academic Integrity.

You should also familiarize yourself with the Computer Science-specific Academic Integrity Policy.


If you have a documented disability or some other reason that you cannot meet the above expectations, and/or your learning would be best served by a modification to the usual course policies, I would be happy to work with you—please get in touch (via Teams or email)! The course policies are just a means to an end; I don’t care about the policies per se but I do care about you and your learning.

It is the policy of Hendrix College to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal and state law. Students should contact Julie Brown in the Office of Academic Success (505.2954; to begin the accommodation process. Any student seeking accommodation in relation to a recognized disability should inform the instructor at the beginning of the course.

Diversity and Inclusion

Hendrix College values a diverse learning environment as outlined in the College’s Statement on Diversity. All members of this community are expected to contribute to a respectful, welcoming, and inclusive environment for every other member of the community. If you believe you have been the subject of discrimination please contact the Dean of Students Office (Mike Leblanc,, 501-450-1222) or the Title IX Coordinator (Jennifer Fulbright,, 501-505-2901). If you have ideas for improving the inclusivity of the classroom experience please feel free to contact me. For more information on Hendrix non-discrimination policies, visit

Mental and Physical Health

Hendrix recognizes that many students face mental and/or physical health challenges. If your health status will impact attendance or assignments, please communicate with me as soon as possible. If you would like to implement academic accommodations, contact Julie Brown in the office of Academic Success ( To maintain optimal health, please make use of free campus resources like the Hendrix Medical Clinic or Counseling Services (501.450.1448). Your health is important, and I care more about your health and well-being than I do about this class!