Advances in Programming Languages


Note: This page refers to a past version of the course. You can also consult the current APL course web page.

This is a taught course in the School of Informatics suitable for 4th-year undergraduates and MSc students. Advances in Programming Languages surveys recent developments in programming language design and implementation with an emphasis on technological advances on the state of the art. The course is rated as 10 credit points at level 10 in the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). For further details see the University course catalogue.

NOTICE As announced in the lecture on Tuesday, due to personal circumstances I shall not be able to lecture for the remainder of this semester and this course has been cancelled for 2013–2014. My sincere apologies, particularly for the short notice of this.

Ian Stark 2013-09-20

Lectures: 15.10–16.00 Tuesdays and Fridays throughout Semester 1, in Forrest Hill 3.D02. You are strongly advised to attend all lectures: if for any reason you miss one, please email the lecturer.

Links: Forrest Hill (Map), Room 3.D02

Online: Lecture blog and discussion forum.


Coursework: Each lecture specifies additional reading and exercises on the topics covered. This homework is not assessed, but it is essential for those wishing to fully participate in the course.

In additional, there is a substantial piece of written coursework which is marked and counts towards final course grades. This requires investigation of a topic in programming languages and writing a 10-page report.

Link: Description of previous course assignment

Assignment timing
Start Semester 1 Week 2 Friday 27 September Lecture reviewing topics
Submit 1 Semester 1 Week 3 Friday 4 October Preliminary report due by 4pm
Return 1 Semester 2 Week 5 Friday 18 October Written feedback by email
Submit 2 Semester 1 Week 8 Friday 8 November Final report due by 4pm
Return 2 Semester 1 Week 10 Friday 22 November Written feedback by email
Staff: The course lecturer is Ian Stark.
Office: Informatics Forum 5.04
Office Hour:1030–1130 every Monday
Please drop in any time during this office hour, or send email if you want to arrange a meeting at another time.

Feedback: You will receive written feedback from the course lecturer on your work for each stage of the coursework assignment. In particular, the preliminary report is wholly formative: it does not count towards your final grade, but is there to help improve your work for the final submission.

The final lecture of the semester will review what you have done in the course, giving feedback and advice on how to best prepare for the examination.

Assessment: Course grades depend on the mark for your assignment (20%) and in a written examination (80%).

The exam takes place at the end of the year, during the April/May diet. The paper follows a similar format each year, and past papers will be available online for revision.

Previous Years: The web pages for previous incarnations of the course include slides, reading material, and a lecture log. Exam papers and solutions from previous years are also available.

Links: 2010–2011; 2009–2010; 2008–2009; 2007–2008; Past exam papers.

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