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The Australian National University

COMP3610 and COMP6361, Principles of Programming Languages

Course overview

The course is built around an investigation of what programming languages are, and the notion of programs as artefacts. The course will tentatively cover the following topics:

  • Lexical analysis and parsing
  • Fixpoint theory
  • Operational and denotational semantics of programs
  • Program verification

Note that we will be using Wattle website in order to track all the information regarding the course. In addition, we will be using Piazza for class discussion. This page is supposed to provide some basic information about the course and will not be updated during the semester.


There will be two lectures in most weeks:

  • Mondays at 11am - 1pm in FSTY T
  • Tuesdays at 12am - 1pm in FSTY T
The lecture on Tuesday, August 8, will take place on Wednesday, August 9 at 2-3pm in STB S1 (3.07). Note that Monday lectures on September 25 and October 2 overlap with public holidays. Make-up classes are scheduled to take place on
  • Wednesday, September 27, at 2-4pm in STB S1 (3.07) and
  • Wednesday, October 4, at 2-4pm in STB S1 (3.07)
Depending on the type of a tutorial/practical each week, it will take place either in a computer lab or in lecture hall. We will have two tutorials each week. Each student will need to register for one of them.

Group 1:

  • Tuesdays at 9-11am in RSISE A105 (tutorial)
  • Wednesdays at 12am-2pm in CSIT N112 (practical)
Group 2:
  • Wednesdays at 9-11am in RSISE A105 (tutorial)
  • Thursdays at 9-11am in CSIT N111 (practical)
The first practical class will be in Week 2. Please follow Wattle/Piazza to keep up-to-date regarding the course schedule.

Assessment Scheme

  • There will be two assignments with a combined weight of 40%.
    The first will be released towards the end of August. The second will be released towards the end of September.
  • There will be a 3 hour open book final examination with a weight of 60%.
  • Your final mark will be the sum of these two components.

Important Notes

  • Late assignments will not be accepted. There will be no extensions. Note that assignment due dates and return dates may vary from the schedule advertised above.
  • You mark for an assessment item can be revised within at most 2 weeks after its mark is released. Afterwards the mark is final.
  • We can request an oral examination to cross-check any of your submissions.
  • Plagiarism will be handled according to ANU's policies and procedures.
  • Course final results are subject to moderation.

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