> .0-Y 'bjbjWW (==']tvvvvvv$eYtttt'BLBtSubject:
Ari Lamstein's submission
Date:
Thu, 19 Oct 2000 10:23:12 -0700 (PDT)
From:
Peter Selinger
To:
mathjournal@rose-hulman.edu
CC:
alamstei0@yahoo.com (Ari Lamstein)
Hi,
this is a letter in support of Ari Lamstein's submission "Theory and
Implementation of a Functional Programming Language" to the
Undergraduate Journal of Mathematics at Rose-Hulman Institute of
Technology.
* My association with the student. I supervised Ari Lamstein's work
through a UROP project (Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Program, http://www.umich.edu/~urop/) in the academic year 1999/2000
at the University of Michigan. The project continued as an REU
project through the Math Dept at Michigan in the summer of 2000.
I was an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of
Michigan at that time (now I am a Computer Scientist at Stanford).
The paper that Ari has submitted to your journal is also the final
project paper for the REU project.
* My assessment of the paper. Scope: This paper is in the mathematical
foundations of computer science, an area closely related to (and
historically derived from) mathematical logic. While the subject
matter is programming languages, the nature of the article is
mathematical (with precise definitions, theorems, and proofs).
Therefore I think the paper falls well within the scope of this
journal.
Content: The paper does not contain any original results, but it is
a well-written, self-contained introduction to the study of
programming languages. An unusual feature of this paper is that it
covers several stages of the language design process, all the way
from theoretical definitions to a practical implementation. The
article treats a variety of non-trivial topics, such as polymorphic
type inference, abstract machines, and operational semantics, but
manages to do this in a self-contained way, by focusing on the
example of a relatively small, custom-made programming language
PPL. To my knowledge, a self-contained introduction of this scope
and brevity is not readily available elsewhere.
Presentation and Level: The paper is well-written, and it should be
accessible, with a reasonable amount of work, to a person who is
comfortable with the idea of syntax, e.g., someone who has taken an
introductory logic course. The paper contains proper references
(although it does not attempt to give a complete or even
near-complete bibliography of the subject). The level of
mathematical maturity of this paper is way beyond a typical homework
assignment.
* A statement verifying that the student did the work as an
undergraduate. Ari Lamstein was an undergraduate math major at the
University of Michigan during the bulk of this project. We continued
the project for several months in the summer of 2000 after Ari had
graduated.
* My name and address.
Peter Selinger
Department of Computer Science
Stanford University
selinger@theory.stanford.edu
Best wishes, -- Peter Selinger
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