Semantics and Domain Theory 2009--2010



Denotational Semantics is about assigning a mathematical meaning to syntax (in particular, that of programming languages) which is, in some sense, independent of how the syntax is presented, or what computational rules it may obey (which are properly the subject matter of Operational Semantics).

Domain Theory is the mathematics of the objects, sets-with-structure, and mappings between them, which serve as a vehicle for denotational semantics.


Our course will largely follow the Cambridge lecture notes of Glynn Winskel and Andy Pitts, supplemented by chapters from Glynn Winskel's book, The Formal Semantics of Programming Languages (1st edition, MIT Press 1993).

We may, from time to time, supplement this material with online and other resources. Watch this space for links etc.


The course is divided roughly into 3 parts:

Course Schedule

Time and place are still TBC: provionally, Tuesdays 13:30--15:30 (NB, the rooster says 15:30--17:30, but this clashes with existing commitments of ours).

Carnaval takes place in Wk 07 (ma. 15.02.10 t/m vr 19.02.10).

The 3e kwartal tentamenperiode falls Wk 14+15.

May holiday takes place in Wk 18 (vr. 30.04.10 t/m vr 07.05.10).

The final examination is set for Wk 26: 29.06.2010 (NB. This is one week earlier than in the schedule; again this is because of our existing commitments). Wk 25 will be held lecture free for revision.

The exact details are still TBC; the following is a rough guide:
Week: datumTopicChapters
05: 02.02.2010Intro(Book) 1,2
06: 09.02.2010Intro(Book) 3
08: 23.02.2010Intro(Book) 4
09: 02.03.2010Intro(Book) 5
10: 09.03.2010CPOs(Notes) 2
11: 16.03.2010PCF(Notes) 6, (Book) 11
12: 23.03.2010Constructions on CPOs(Notes) 3
13: 30.03.2010Soundness(Notes) 6
16: 20.04.2010Logical relations(Notes) 7, (Book) 11
17: 27.04.2010Adequacy(Notes) 6, (Book) 11
19: 11.05.2010Advanced topics: Exception, continuations
20: 18.05.2010Advanced topics: Full abstraction
21: 25.05.2010Advanced topics: Recursive datatypes
22: 01.06.2010Advanced topics: Models of lambda calculus: D∞
23: 08.06.2010Advanced topics: TBC
24: 15.06.2010Advanced topics: TBC



James McKinna