Seminar: Programming Languages Through the Ages


  • Due to technical difficulties we increased the number of allowed participants to a total of 14. New topics have been added to the list below.
  • The Kick-Off is scheduled for 22 October 2014, 15.00h until 16.30h in room IZ 349.

Organizational Matters

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ina Schaefer
Remo Lachmann, M.Sc.
Credits: Depends on the major and your exam regulations, one CP = 30h of work.
Audience: Bachelor and master students studying computer science, business informatics or IST who are interested in scientific work.
Registration: Use StudIP to register yourself for the seminar. We have limited our capacities to a maximum of 14 attendees!

For a successful participation, the following tasks have to be fulfilled:

  • Written paper about your topic (Bachelor: 6-8 pages, Master: 8-10; both in IEEE double column style).
  • 25-30 minutes talk about your topic and discussion.
  • Review of two other papers.
  • Mandatory participation of all events.



  • The kick-off for the seminar is held on 22.10., 15.00h in room IZ 349 (ISF library).
  • Additional dates are announced via StudIP.


Software is developed using different programming languages, which have evolved through the ages. Different challenges and domains have formed new programming concepts and paradigms in the course of time. This seminar analyzes some of the key languages, which had or have a high impact in the software development. The seminar starts with some of the earliest languages and continues until the current decade containing new software paradigms of recent years.


The following topics / languages are available:

  1. Fortran
  2. Cobol
  3. BASIC
  4. Lisp
  5. Smalltalk
  6. ADA
  7. C++
  8. Java (up to 1.8)
  9. Javascript / Dart
  10. Python
  11. Ruby
  12. Scala
  13. Swift
  14. Esoteric languages (misc.) (for Master students only)

For every language, the origin, history, features and syntax and semantics are examined and presented in both a paper and a talk. Simple examples should be given as well. The authors shall also argue, why a language is still popular or why it is not.

Hint: A large amount of this lecture is based on independent work. You should prepare yourself for one work day a week to handle the workload.

Learning objectives and achievable skills

The following skills are achieved in this course:

  • An organized approach to search, read and understand scientific literature.
  • A structured prepearation of the achieved insights.
  • Communication of the achieved results in a talk given in front of the other participants.
  • Personal scheduling of tasks.

  last changed 18.07.2014
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