CS 8803 O08: Compilers—Theory and Practice

Instructional Team

Santosh Pande
Santosh Pande
Creator, Instructor
Robert Taylor
Robert Taylor
Head TA


The objective of this course is to learn the theory and practice behind building automatic translators (compilers) for higher level programming languages and to engineer and build key phases of a compiler in Java or C++ for a small language. 


  • Front End: Compiler phases and overall working, Scanners (Regular Expressions, NFA/DFA, Scanner Generators), Parsers (Grammars, Ambiguity Removal, LL, LR, and other deterministic parsing), Semantic Analysis (Symbol Tables, Syntax Driven Analysis, Type Systems, Attribute Grammars)
  • Middle End: Intermediate Forms, Syntax Directed Translation, Translation of: Expressions, Control Structures and Back-patching, Function and Procedure Calls, Runtime Organization
  • Back-end: Instruction Selection, Register Allocation, Instruction Selection, Code layout and Code Generation, Brief Introduction to Code Optimizations
Foundational Course Computing Systems Elective

Sample Syllabus

Summer 2024 syllabus (PDF)
Spring 2024 syllabus (PDF)
Summer 2023 syllabus (PDF)

Note: Sample syllabi are provided for informational purposes only. For the most up-to-date information, consult the official course documentation.

Course Content

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Before Taking This Class...

Suggested Background Knowledge

Good knowledge of data structures and algorithms, good programming skills, and ability to write sizeable software in Java or C++. Should be able to work in Linux environment.

Technical Requirements and Software

Students will work in a Linux environment.

Academic Integrity

All Georgia Tech students are expected to uphold the Georgia Tech Academic Honor Code. This course may impose additional academic integrity stipulations; consult the official course documentation for more information.