California State University Stanislaus

Fall 2023

CS 4100 Section 2: Programming Languages (WP)

MWF 10:00 am - 10:50 am,  Dr. Melanie Martin

In-person course in Bizzini 131, there may be some synchronous zoom and some asynchronous meetings.

[Basic Information]         [Announcements]         [Calendar/Assignments]        [Links]       

Welcome to CS 4100, Programming Languages

Course Description

This course will introduce you to the principles of the design, evaluation, and implementation of computer programming languages. As such it is not a crash course to teach you to program in a half dozen new dialects, although you will find learning new languages easier as a result of this study. Our emphasis will be on the kinds of features languages might have, how they influence a programmer's thought process, and how they may be implemented on a computer.

At this level of study, we will find that complex trade-offs between language principles coupled with a variety of differing goals often can lead designers to radically different design decisions. There seems to be no single "right" way to design a programming language, no single language that is "right" for all applications. You will be asked to explore some of these trade-offs through a series of writing assignments in which your thought process and ability to balance fairly many aspects of complex issues will often be more important than the conclusions you reach. Because of this subject matter and pedagogical approach, this course meets the University graduation requirement for Writing Proficiency, and you will need to have passed the University Writing Proficiency Screening Test before enrolling.

(The above paragraphs are from Dr. Ray Zarling's CS 4100 course description, with permission.)

Announcements and Upcoming Events


Welcome to CS 4100!      Class announcement will be in Canvas.

Basic Information

Textbook is Principles of Programming Languages: Design, Evaluation, and Implementation (Third Edition), by Bruce J. MacLennan

Instructor: Dr. Melanie Martin                           Office: Demergasso-Bava Hall 278
                                                                                          Naraghi 375

Email:                               Office Phone: (209) 667-3787 or (209) 667-3269

Web Page:

Office Hours:                      



  And by appointment  

Please note that I may sometime have to reschedule or cancel office hours. If I do I will post in the Announcements and/or send email.              

Best way to contact Dr. Martin:  Email  Please put "CS4100" in the subject line of the email.

Prerequisite: Completion of the "Golden 4" lower division GE courses (A1, A2, A3, B4) and successful completion of CS 3100.

Warning: I reserve the right to make changes to the syllabus at any time during the term by announcing them in class, on canvas, and on my web page.

Health and Safety

This course is designed to be an in-person and will meet in Bizzini 131. There may be some days may be online: some may synchronous.

To attend class in person, you will need to follow the Campus Guidelines. If you are unable to attend class on an in-person day, you should email me prior to class time.

Grading and Policies

Final grades will be based on projects and assignments, a term project, and quizzes and exams. A plus and minus grading scale will be used to assign final grades. Except for designated collaborative activities in connection with the project, all writing and other work you present for credit must be entirely your own, or developed on your own in consultation with the course instructor or other Department faculty. Penalties for representing other people's or machine's work as your own will range from No Credit on an assignment through failure of the course and possible University disciplinary action. Over the course of the term we will discuss these issues in more detail, but it is your responsibility to seek clarification and understand the parameters involved. Your work may be electronically checked for plagiarism using

Baseline Requirements: There are certain components of this course that are required to receive a passing grade:
1. A topic proposal with appropriate references and required format, approved by instructor before the topic presentations.
2. An oral presentation of your topic and providing feedback to other students on their presentations.
3. Participation in the paper peer review process.
4. Turning in a final version of your paper that meets the following criteria:
    a. At least 2000 words in length (target is 2500 words),
    b. References  and in-body citations in APA format as outlined in the "Characteristics of Academic Scientific Writing" handout on the class web page.
    c. The tone and content of the paper must comply with the "Characteristics of Academic Scientific Writing" handout on the class web page.
    d. All references must be peer reviewed (generally, journal articles or conference proceedings), published books, or primary sources. (No wikipedia, blogs,
        stackoverflow, etc.)
5. Participation in all class activities relating to plagiarism.
6. Successful completion of Assignment 1 - daily writing for the entire semester.
Please note that completion of these activities does not guarantee a passing grade in the course, but failure to complete them eliminates the possibility of passing the course.

Writing and Coding Assignments:  Homework will usually require you to organize you thoughts about some aspect of the material we are studying, and to write a carefully crafted and thoughtful paper. Some parts of your assignments will be used only for class discussion and not turned in, but usually they will be graded. In aggregate, all homework you turn in will comprise 30% of you final grade. Some of the questions will require problem solving or programming skills, but programming segments or other technical language will generally be in service of some larger point supported by prose arguments. Essays must be prepared on a word processor. Late assignments will be accepted unless you are notified otherwise, but there may be grading penalty dependent on the degree of lateness.

Term Project:  In addition to these assignments, you will be required to write a term project. Specific requirements and a timetable will be distributed early in the term. The project will take the place of a final exam, and the final draft of the project will be due at the time normally scheduled for the final. It will not be accepted after that time. The project grade will be based upon prewriting activities as well as the final product and will in aggregate count as 30% or your final course grade.

Submission of Projects and Assignments: All projects and assignments are to be turned electronically as stated in the assignment to one of the following:
1. Canvas
2. The CSHomework System (

Exams: There will be two exams given during the course of the semester, these will be supplemented by quizzes. The exact time of the exams will be announced in class in advance of each exam. Each exam will account for 20% of your final grade.

Grade Summary:
Writing and Coding Assignments
Midterm Exam and/or Quizzes
Term Project
Final Exam

Academic Honesty: The work you do for this course will be your own, unless otherwise specified. You are not to submit other people's or machine's work and represent it as your own. I consider academic honesty to be at the core of the University's activities in education and research. Academic honesty is expected at all times in this course.

Attendance: Regular class attendance is expected; attendance for certain activities will be required. Some of the required activities will be listed on the schedule as "Mandatory," failure to participate in three of these activities will result in a failing grade for the course. Students are responsible for all announcements and in-class discussion.

Turnitin. com:
In this course we will utilize, an automated system which instructors can use to quickly and easily compare each student's assignment with millions of web sites, as well as an enormous database of student papers that grows with each submission. After the assignment is processed, as instructor, I receive a report from that states if and how another authorís work was used in the assignment.  For a more detailed look at this process visit

Cell Phone Policy: During class time, your cell phone (including headsets) must be turned off and out of sight. Any use of a cell phone during class will result in confiscation of the phone until that day's class has ended or your removal from the class for that day. If you attempt to use your cell phone or leave it on during an exam, you will be considered to have finished your test, and I will collect your exam at that time.  Exceptions may be made only if you discuss your situation with me prior to the start of that day's class, in this case, your cell phone must be set to vibrate/silence.

University Recording Policy: Audio or video recording (or any other form of recording) of classes is not permitted unless expressly allowed by the faculty member as indicated in the course syllabus or as a special accommodation for students who are currently registered with the Disability Resource Services Program and are approved for this accommodation. Recordings allowed as special accommodations are for the personal use of the DRS-approved student, and may only be distributed to other persons who have been approved by the DRS program. Faculty may require the student sign an Audio/Video Recording Agreement, which they may keep for their records.

University Disability Services:  CSU Stanislaus respects all forms of diversity. By university commitment and by law, students with disabilities are entitled to participate in academic activities and to be tested in a manner that accurately assesses their knowledge and skills. They also may qualify for reasonable accommodations that ensure equal access to lectures, labs, films, and other class-related activities.   Please see the instructor if you need accommodations for a registered disability.  Students can contact the Disability Resource Services office for additional information.  The Disability Resource Services website can be accessed at
Phone: (209) 667-3159

University Writing Center: The Writing Center offers free individual and small group tutoring to students from all disciplines and at all levels of proficiency. Dedicated to encouraging dialogue among writers and helping students become successful writers, the Writing Center provides a supportive, judgment-free atmosphere in which tutors share strategies and experiences at each stage of the writing process. Graduate and undergraduate tutors are evolving writers who, through experience and training, continue to develop their abilities as tutors and writers.

The Writing Center website is located at 

Phone:  Writing Center: (209) 667-3465


Important dates:

(See Schedule of Courses or Academic Calendar)

Last day to add a class:                     
September 18;
Last day to drop: 
September 18;
Last day change grade options (CR/NC):       
No classes
September 4, November 10, November 20-24.