CSC 255/455 Software Analysis and Improvement (aka Advanced Compilers)


CSC 255/455 Software Analysis and Improvement (aka Advanced Compilers) (also ECE 455, TCS 455)
Sreepathi Pai
MW 10:25-11:40 Hylan 202
Office Location
Wegmans Hall 3409
Office Hours
By appointment, though you're free to drop by my office between 10AM and 5PM on weekdays and see if I'm available
T.A. Office Hours
(Offices in WH2215)
Alan Chiu (Monday, 2--3PM)
Chi Chun Chen (Thursday 3:25--4:40PM)
Final Exam Date
Wednesday May 08 at 1230 in HYLAN 202

Academic Honesty

All assignments and activities associated with this course must be performed in accordance with the University of Rochester's Academic Honesty Policy. More information is available at:


(mine) Compiler analysis is a field with deep, beautiful theory and immediate, important real-world applications. Nearly all computation is specified as programs, and this course will teach you to write programs that analyze and transform other programs. Learn the subject that tries to answer the questions that gave birth to Computer Science!

(from CDCS) Programming is the automation of information processing. Program analysis and transformation is the automation of programming itself---how much a program can understand and improve other programs. Because of the diversity and complexity of computer hardware, programmers increasingly depend on automation in compilers and other tools to deliver efficient and reliable software. This course combines fundamental principles and (hands-on) practical applications. Specific topics include data flow and dependence theories; static and dynamic program transformation including parallelization; memory and cache management; type checking and program verification; and performance analysis and modeling. The knowledge and practice will help students to become experts in software performance and correctness. Students taking the graduate level will have additional course requirements and a more difficult project.


Students who take this course will learn:

  • Methods and frameworks for program analysis
  • Development of such analyses in real-world compilers


CSC254 (or equivalent basic compilers course) required; CSC252 (or basic computer organization/architecture course) recommended.


  1. Homeworks (20%)
  2. Assignments (55%)
  3. Exams (25%, midterm + final (weighted more))

Students taking the 4xx version of this course should expect to read more, and expect to solve different problems.

Late submissions

Inform the instructor in advance if circumstances beyond your control will make you miss a deadline.