Fall 2019 - CMPT 479 D100

Special Topics in Computing Systems (3)

Software Engineering

Class Number: 9013

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 1:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    WMC 2220, Burnaby

    Th 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    WMC 2200, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 10, 2019
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    WMC 3210, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    CMPT 300.



Current topics in computing systems depending on faculty and student interest.


How can we create software that is maintainable, reliable, and secure? How can we treat software systems as subjects for analysis? How can we automate challenging tasks like finding vulnerabilities or even programming itself? This course examines both classic and cutting edge answers to these software engineering questions. This course will explore modern aspects of software engineering including design, reliability, performance, and security. Beyond manual design and programming issues, students will gain experience with techniques for automating aspects of software engineering and treating programs themselves as data that can be analyzed, transformed, or automatically generated. This course is a trial run for future offerings of CMPT 745: Software Engineering. The material will be hands-on, with several small projects in a variety of programming languages throughout the semester. Students will also be expected to complete a term project in a direction of their choice based on material from the course. The term project will involve building a tool that automates some useful analysis/task within software engineering. and program synthesis. Students are expected to learn core techniques used in program analysis and to ultimately apply them. CMPT 379 is recommended but not required. Introductory projects will involve programming in C++. Term projects can be done using a language of student preference.


  • Static and dynamic program analysis
  • Software security (offense and defense)
  • Automated program synthesis
  • Automated test generation
  • Concurrency and parallelism
  • Automated debugging & defect investigation
  • Performance analysis
  • Classic design and architecture



Assignments: 50% Exams: 25% Term Project: 25% Grading criteria are subject to change.



Reference Books

  • Working Effectively with Legacy Code, 9780131177055
  • Principles of Program Analysis, 9783540654100
  • Engineering a Compiler,  9780120884780
  • Writing Solid Code,  978157074055

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html