CSCI 3155: Lab Assignment #1 Solution




The purpose of this assignment is to warm-up with Scala and  to refresh preliminaries from prior  courses.

Find a partner. You will work on this assignment in pairs. Feel free to use the Piazza forum to locate a partner; otherwise we can  assign one  to you.  Each student is individually responsible for completing the assignment.

You are welcome to talk about these questions in larger  groups. However, we ask that you write  up your  answers in pairs. Also, be sure  to acknowledge those with which you discussed, including your partner and  those outside of your pair.

We use the following evaluation guideline in this course.


Both  your ideas and  also the clarity  with which they are expressed  matter—both in your English prose and your code!

We will consider  the following criteria in our grading:


  • How well does your submission answer the questions? For example, a common mistake is to give an example when a question asks for an  explanation.  An example may  be useful in your explanation, but it should not take the place of the explanation.
  • How clear is your  submission?  If we cannot understand what you are trying to say, then  we cannot give you points for it.  Try reading your answer aloud to yourself  or a friend; this technique is often  a great way to identify holes in your reasoning.  For code, not  every program that  “works”  deserves  full  credit.   We must be able to read and understand your intent. Make sure you state any pre- conditions or invariants for your functions (either  in comments, as assertions, or as require clauses as appropriate).


Try to make your code  as concise and  clear as possible. Challenge yourself to find the most crisp,  concise way of expressing the  intended computation. This may mean using ways of ex- pression computation currently unfamilar to you.

Finally, make sure that your file compiles and runs (using  Scala 2.10.3). A program that does not compile will not  be graded.



Submission Instructions.   Here’s what  you need to complete in your pull request:


  • include your answers to the  written questions.  This  file should be  formatted using the Markdown markup language.



  • Lab1.scala with your answers to the coding exercises.


  • Lab1.jsy with a challenging test case for your JAVA SC R I P T Y interpreter.

Sign-up for an interview slot for an evaluator. To fairly accomodate everyone, the interview times are strict  and  will not be rescheduled. Missing an interview slot means missing the inter- view evaluation component of your lab grade. Please  take advantage of your interview time  to maximize the  feedback that you are able  receive. Arrive at your  interview ready  to show  your implementation and your written responses. Implementations that do not compile and run will not be evaluated.


Getting Started.    Take a look at the pull request we be starting for your team. Because we are still setting up GitHub, you can also take a look at the assignment ( as it is posted on Piazza.

A suggested way to get  familiar with  Scala  is to do  some small  lessons with  Scala  Koans (  For your convenience, the Scala Koans  package is included in the  code  pack  under the  koans/ sub-directory.  For this  lab,  we suggest that you  consider looking at the AboutAsserts, AboutLiteralBooleans, AboutLiteralNumbers, AboutLiteralStrings, AboutMethods, AboutRecursion, AboutTuples, AboutCaseClasses, and  AboutPatternMatching koans.


  1. Scala Basics: Binding and Scope. For each the following uses of names, give the line where that name is bound. Briefly explain your reasoning (in no more than 1–2 sentences).

(a)  Consider the following Scala code.


1            val  pi = 3.14

2            def  circumference(r: Double): Double = {

3                   val  pi = 3.14159

4                   2.0 * pi * r

5            }

6            def  area(r: Double): Double =

7                   pi * r * r


The use of pi at line 4 is bound at which line? The use of pi at line 7 is bound at which line?


(b)  Consider the following Scala code.


1            val  x = 3

2            def  f(x: Int): Int =

3                   x match  {

4                          case   0 =>  0

5                          case   x =>  {

6                                  val  y = x + 1

7                                  ({

8                                            val  x = y + 1

9                                            y

10                                     } * f(x – 1))


11                           }

12                    }

13             val  y = x + f(x)


The use of x at line 3 is bound at which line?  The use of x at line 6 is bound at which line? The use of x at line 10 is bound at which line? The use of x at line 13 is bound at which line?


  1. Scala Basics: Typing. In the following, I have left off the return type of function g. The body of g is well-typed if we can come up with a valid return type. Is the body of g well-typed?


1            def  g(x: Int) = {

2                   val  (a, b) = (1, (x, 3))

3                   if  (x == 0) (b, 1) else   (b, a + 2)

4            }


If so, give the return type of g and  explain how you determined this type.  For this explaina- tion, first, give the types for the names a and b. Then, explain the body expression using the following format:


e : τ because


e1 : τ1 because

. . .

e2 : τ2 because

. . .


where e1 and  e2 are subexpressions of e . Stop when you reach values  (or names). As an example of the suggested format, consider the plus function:

def  plus(x: Int, y: Int) = x + y


Yes, the body expression of plus is well-typed with type Int.


x + y : Int because

x : Int y : Int


  1. Run-Time Library. Most  languages come with  a standard library with  support for things like data structures, mathematical operators, string processing, etc.  Standard library func- tions may be implemented in the object language (perhaps for portability) or the meta lan- guage  (perhaps for implementation efficiency).

For this  question, we will implement some library  functions in Scala,  our  meta language, that we can  imagine will be  part of the  run-time for our  object language interpreter.  In actuality, the main purpose of this exercise is to warm-up with Scala.

(a)  Write a function abs


def  abs(n: Double): Double


that returns the  absolute value  of n. This a function that takes  a value  of type Double and returns a value of type Double. This function corresponds to the JavaScript library function Math.abs.

Instructor Solution: 1 line. (b)  Write a function xor

def  xor(a: Boolean, b: Boolean): Boolean


that returns the  exclusive-or of a and  b.  The exclusive-or returns true  if and  only  if exactly  one  of a or b is true.  For practice, do not  use the  Boolean operators. Instead, only use the ifelse expression and  the Boolean literals (i.e., true or false).

Instructor Solution: 4 lines (including 1 line for a closing brace).


  1. Run-Time Library: Recursion.


(a)  Write a recursive function repeat


def  repeat(s: String, n: Int): String


where repeat(s, n) returns a string with  n copies of s concatenated together. For example, repeat(“a”,3) returns “aaa”. This function corresponds to the  function goog.string.repeat in the Google Closure library.

Instructor Solution: 4 lines (including 1 line for a closing brace).


(b)  In this exercise, we will implement the square root function—Math.sqrt in the JavaScript standard library. To do so, we will use Newton’s method (also known as Newton-Raphson).

Recall from  Calculus that a root  of a differentiable function can  be iteratively approx- imated by following tangent lines.  More  precisely, let  f  be a differentialable function, and  let x0  be an  initial guess  for a root  of f .  Then, Newton’s method specifies a se- quence of approximations x0 , x1 , . . . with the following recursive equation:1


f (xn )


xn+1 = xn f 0 (x  ) .


The square root of a real number c for c > 0, written pc , is a positive x such that x 2 = c .

Thus,  to compute the  square root  of a number c , we want to find the  positive root  of the function:

f (x ) = x 2 − c .

Thus,  the following recursive equation defines a sequence of approximations for pc :



 x 2  c


xn+1 = xn



  1. First, implement a function sqrtStep





def  sqrtStep(c: Double, xn: Double): Double


1 The following link is a refresher video on this algorithm:, January 2012


that takes  one  step  of approximation in computing pc (i.e., computes xn

xn ).

Instructor Solution: 1 line.

  1. Next, implement a function sqrtN

def  sqrtN(c: Double, x0: Double, n: Int): Double

+1 from


that computes the nth  approximation xn from an initial guess  x0 . You will want  to call sqrtStep implemented in the previous part.

Challenge yourself to implement this  function using recursion and  no  mutable variables (i.e., vars)—you will want to use  a recursive helper function.  It is also quite informative to compare your recursive solution with one using a while loop. Instructor Solution: 7 lines  (including 2 lines  for closing braces and  1 line  for a require).

iii.  Now, implement a function sqrtErr

def  sqrtErr(c: Double, x0: Double, epsilon: Double): Double

that is very similar to sqrtN but  instead computes approximations xn  until the approximation error is within ε (epsilon), that is,


|x 2 − c | < ε .


You can  use your  absolute value  function abs implemented in a previous part. A wrapper function sqrt is given  in the  template that simply calls sqrtErr with  a choice of x0 and  epsilon.

Again, challenge yourself to implement this function using recursion and compare your recursive solution to one with a while loop.

Instructor Solution: 5 lines  (including 1 line  for a closing brace and  1 line  for a



  1. Data Structures Review: Binary Search Trees.


In this question, we will review implementing operations on binary search trees from Data Structures. Balanced binary search trees  are  common in standard libraries to implement collections, such as sets or maps. For example, the Google Closure library for JavaScript has goog.structs.AvlTree. For simplicity, we will not worry about balancing in this question.

Trees  are  important structures in developing interpreters, so this  question is also  critical practice in implementing tree manipulations.

A binary search tree  is a binary tree  that satisfies an ordering invariant. Let n be any node in a binary search tree whose data value is d , left child is l , and right child is r . The ordering invariant is that all of the data values  in the subtree rooted at l must be < d , and  all of the data values  in the subtree rooted at r must be ≥ d .

We will represent a binary trees containing integer data using the following Scala case classes and  case objects:


sealed  abstract class   IntTree

case   object   Empty extends  IntTree

case   class   Node(l: IntTree, d: Int, r: IntTree) extends  IntTree


A IntTree is either Empty or a Node with left child l, data value d, and  right child r. For this question, we will implement the following four functions.

(a)  The function repOk


def  repOk(t: IntTree): Boolean


checks that an instance of IntTree is valid binary search tree.  In other words, it checks using a traversal of the  tree  the  ordering invariant. This function is useful for testing your  implementation.  A skeleton of this  function has  been provided for you  in the template.

Instructor Solution: 7 lines (including 2 lines for closing braces). (b)  The function insert

def  insert(t: IntTree, n: Int): IntTree


inserts an integer into  the  binary search tree.  Observe that the  return type  of insert is a IntTree. This choice suggests a functional style where we construct and  return a new  output tree  that is the  input tree  t with  the  additional integer n as opposed to destructively updating the input tree.

Instructor Solution: 4 lines (including 1 line for a closing brace). (c)  The function deleteMin

def  deleteMin(t: IntTree): (IntTree, Int)


deletes the smallest data element in the search tree (i.e., the leftmost node). It returns both the updated tree and the data value of the deleted node. This function is intended as a helper function for the  delete function.  Most  of this function is provided in the template.

Instructor Solution: 9 lines (including 2 lines for closing braces and 1 line for a require). (d)  The function delete

def  delete(t: IntTree, n: Int): IntTree


removes the first node with data value equal to n. This function is trickier than insert because what should be done depends on whether the node to be deleted has children or not.  We advise that you take advantage of pattern matching to organize the cases.

Instructor Solution: 10 lines (including 2 lines for closing braces).


  1. JavaScripty Interpreter: Numbers.


JavaScript is a complex language and  thus difficult to build an interpreter for it all at once. In this  course, we will make some simplifications. We consider subsets of JavaScript and incrementally examine more and  more complex subsets during the course of the semester. For clarity,  let us call the language that we implement in this course JAVA SC R I P T Y.


For the moment, let us define JAVA SC R I P T Y to be a proper subset of JavaScript. That  is, we may  choose to omit  complex behavior in JavaScript, but  we want  any  programs that we admit in JAVA SC R I P T Y to behave in the same way as in JavaScript.


sealed  abstract class   Expr

case   class   N(n: Double) extends  Expr

N(n) n

case   class   Unary(uop: Uop, e1: Expr) extends  Expr

Unary(uop,e1 ) uop e1

case   class   Binary(bop: Bop, e1: Expr, e2: Expr) extends  Expr

Binary(bop, e1 ) e1 bop e2


sealed  abstract class   Uop

case   object  Neg extends  Uop

Neg −


sealed  abstract class   Bop

case   object  Plus extends  Bop

Plus +

case   object  Minus extends  Bop

Minus −

case   object  Times extends  Bop

Times ∗

case   object  Div extends  Bop

Div /



Figure  1:  Representing in Scala  the  abstract syntax  of JAVA SC R I P T Y.  After each case class  or

case object,  we show the correspondence between the representation and  the concrete syntax.



In actuality, there is not one language called JavaScript but a set of closely related languages that may have slightly different semantics. In deciding how a JAVA SC R I P T Y program should behave, we will consult a reference implementation that we fix to be Google’s V8 JavaScript Engine. We will run V8 via Node.js, and thus, we will often need to write little test JavaScript programs and  run it through Node.js to see how the test should behave.


In this  lab,  we consider an arithmetic sub-language of JavaScript (i.e., an extremely basic calculator). The first thing we have to consider is how to represent a JAVA SC R I P T Y program as data  in Scala,  that is, we need to be able  to represent a program in our  object/source language JAVA SC R I P T Y as data in our meta/implementation language Scala.


To a JAVA SC R I P T Y programmer, a JAVA SC R I P T Y program is a text  file—a string of charac- ters.  Such a representation is quite cumbersome to work with as a language implementer. Instead, language implementations  typically work  with  trees called abstract syntax trees (ASTs). What  strings are considered JAVA SC R I P T Y programs is called  the concrete syntax of JAVA SC R I P T Y, while the trees (or terms) that are JAVA SC R I P T Y programs is called the abstract synatx of JAVA SC R I P T Y. The process of converting a program in concrete syntax  (i.e., as a string) to a program in abstract syntax  (i.e., as a tree)  is called  parsing.


For this  lab,  a parser is provided for you that reads in a JAVA SC R I P T Y program-as-a-string and  converts into  an abstract syntax  tree.   We will represent abstract syntax  trees in Scala using case classes and  case objects. The correspondence between the concrete syntax  and the abstract syntax  representation is shown in Figure  1.




Interpreter 1.  Implement the eval function


def  eval(e: Expr): Double


that evaluates a JAVA SC R I P T Y expression e to the Scala double-precision floating point number corresponding to the value  of e.


Consider a JAVA SC R I P T Y program e ; imagine e stands for the  concrete syntax  or text of the JAVA SC R I P T Y program. This text is parsed into a JAVA SC R I P T Y AST e, that is, a Scala value of type Expr. Then, the result of eval is a Scala number of type Double and  should match the interpretation of e as a JavaScript expression. These  distinctions can be subtle but learning to distinguish between them will go a long way in making sense of programming languages.


At this point, you have implemented your first language interpreter!

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