RE: Mathematics skills for writing a compiler?

Quinn Tyler Jackson <>
14 Sep 2004 16:39:18 -0400

          From comp.compilers

Related articles
Mathematics skills for writing a compiler? (2004-09-08)
RE: Mathematics skills for writing a compiler? (Quinn Tyler Jackson) (2004-09-14)
Re: Mathematics skills for writing a compiler? (Randy) (2004-09-21)
| List of all articles for this month |

From: Quinn Tyler Jackson <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 14 Sep 2004 16:39:18 -0400
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 04-09-063
Keywords: courses
Posted-Date: 14 Sep 2004 16:39:18 EDT

> What mathematical skills do I need in order to build an "average"
> compiler?
> such as numerical methods, CFG, DFS.... etc

Set and graph theory definitely don't hurt. A smattering of background
in combinatorics comes in handy when the going gets tough.

Hands on experience with a few "toy languages" and lex and yacc-like
tools and a copy of Levine et al.'s _Lex & Yacc_ and Friedl's
_Mastering Regular Expressions_ will carry you a long way, too.

Then, an audit of Appel's _Modern Compiler Implementation in C_,
followed by Muchnick's _Advanced Compiler Design Implementation_,
possibly followed by Reynold's _Theories of Programming Languages_.

Possible forrays into Kirkerud's _Porgramming Language Semantics_ will come
in handy at some point, IME.

Finally, Levine's _Linkers & Loaders_ to close the loop.

I realize you asked about math skills, rather than a "study path" -- but if
you follow the above cycle and at each step hunt down the backgrounder
information required to really grok each resource -- you may come out of it
with those as a side-effect.

Quinn Tyler Jackson

"Never express yourself more clearly than you think."
-- Niels Bohr

Post a followup to this message

Return to the comp.compilers page.
Search the comp.compilers archives again.