CS 291 University of Puget Sound Spring, 2020
Programming Language Paradigms:
Explorations with Functional Problem Solving (supported by Scheme/Haskell)
and Declarative Prblem Solving (supported by Prolog)


 Class Schedule  Eliza Projects:
Scheme, Haskell, and Prolog
 In-class Materials  Deadlines
 Instructor  Resources  Anticipated Work Load
 Course Work  Collaboration  Tutors and Mentors  University Policies
 Cell Phones  Accommodations  Grading

At a basic level, the discipline of computer science seeks to solve problems that people care about; that is, computer science focuses on problem solving. Over the years, computer scientists have found at least four, fundamentally different views of problem solving to be particularly helpful. Each approach involves a distinct way of thinking, and each is supported by a range of computer languages. These paradigms may be outlined as follows:

(Beyond the languages listed above, some programming languages try to combine several approaches within an integrated framework. As is common with many compromises, such hybrid languages may work nicely in approaching some problems, but also have substantial difficulties when used to address other problems.)

An investigation of these paradigms concludes that each is particularly good for working with some types of problems, but no paradigm consistently works well when solving all types of problems. Thus, people involved with computing need to become comfortable with several of these paradigms.

Since introductory courses at the University of Puget Sound highlight object-oriented problem solving with Java, student work with individual data fields and methods also provides modest experience with imperative problem solving.

This course focuses on two new and contrasting paradigms, which are quite different from the object-oriented and imperative worlds, supported by languages that may seem dramatically different from Java.

Paradigms and languages for this section of CS 291:


Henry M. Walker

Office: Thompson 104
Telephone: extension 3562
E-mail: walker@cs.grinnell.edu, henrywalker@pugetsound.edu

Office hours are posted weekly on the bulletin board outside my office, with additional hours possible by appointment. Please feel free to stop by during office hours; I will strive to work with students on a first-come, first-served basis—as time permits.


Materials for this course largely are on-line.





While the schedule for this course is expected to evolve, a detailed Tentative Class Schedule is posted with readings, labs, assignments, examples, etc. This schedule will be updated as the course evolves.

Anticipated Work Load

This course includes a variety of activities, including class preparation (reading), labs and projects (started in class and finished for homework), and supplemental problems (some required and some available for extra credit), as well as quizzes, tests, and a final exam. From past experience, the time required for these activities will likely vary substantially from student to student and from one part of the course to another. For example, a student may need to devote considerable time and effort when starting a new or different topic, but the workload may drop noticeably when that material is mastered.

Such variation in student experiences complicates any estimation of the time individual students may need to devote to homework for this course. However, from past experience, students working steadily on the course likely should expect to allocate 10-15 hours per week to homework. Some students may require additional time for some weeks; some students may complete work in less time for some weeks. Conversations with computer science faculty and others suggest this time allocation is consistent with expectations for many courses at Grinnell College.

Course Work

All programming for this course must meet reasonable standards for clarity, readability, maintainability, and efficiency. Also, submitted programs must compile appropriately, tests should demonstrate program correctness, and some commentary is needed to explain why programs produce correct answers. See Notes on Program Standards for details on writing and testing programs according to basic standards.

Course Work will involve a combination of the following activities.


Deadlines are shown on the Tentative Class Schedule, and work is due at the start of each class specified. A penalty of 25% per class meeting will be assessed for any assignment turned in late, even work submitted at the end of a class. However, an extension of at least one class period is automatically granted if the department's Linux network is down for an unscheduled period of three or more hours during the week preceding the assignment. Normally, a program or laboratory write-up is due every third class meeting.

Although dates for labs, programming assignments, tests, and the final exam are firm, I understand that circumstances arise when you are not able to attend class.

Absolute Deadline: All homework must be turned in by Wednesday, 6 May at 5:00 pm;
laboratory reports or programs received after that time will not be counted in the grading of the course.


Collaboration often will be allowed on laboratory exercises, but collaboration normally will NOT be allowed on supplemental problems and tests. To avoid confusion, the rules for collaboration on homework are included in the specification of each assignment.

Cell Phones, Text Messaging, and E-Community Devices

Cell phones, text-messaging devices, and other social-networking connections may not be used in this class. If you bring such equipment to the classroom, it must be turned off before the class starts and stay off throughout the class period. Use of such equipment is distracting to those nearby and will not be tolerated.


If you have specific physical, psychiatric, or learning disabilities and require accommodations, please let me know early in the semester so that your learning needs may be appropriately met. You will need to provide documentation of your disability to the Director of Academic Advising. Feel free to talk to me if you have questions or want more information.

For more information, see the Academic Handbook, pages 34-35.

Some Additional University Policies

In addition to course policies identified in this syllabus, the University of Puget Sound has asked instructors to highlight the following university policies:


This instructor's grading philosophy dictates that the final grade should ultimately be based upon each student's demonstration of her or his understanding of the material, not on the performance of the class as a whole nor on a strict percentile basis. The following scheme is proposed as a base for how the various assignments and tests will be counted in the final grade.

Lab Write-ups: 30%     Projects: 20%     Quizzes: 18%     Test: 12%     Exam: 20%    

created 24 June 2019
revised Summer-Fall 2019
grading clarification 29 February 2020
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For more information, please contact Henry M. Walker at walker@cs.grinnell.edu.