Schedule

EventDateDescriptionCourse Material

Lecture09/08/2021
WednesdayWe’ll talk about what Lean is and see what it can do, and also go over some organizational points about the course.
Takeaways: verified programming is fun and powerful, and this course is very experimental!

Lecture09/13/2021
MondayIn this lecture we’ll learn the basics of the Lean programming and specification language: types and terms, type inhabitation, and writing and evaluating very simple functional programs. No proving yet!
We covered HHG 1.1 and 1.2.

Assignment09/13/2021
MondayAssignment #1 released! 
Lecture09/15/2021
WednesdayThe basics of Lean syntax, continuedWe’ll finish Chapter 1 of the HHG, and get a head start on Chapter 2, where we’ll actually start proving some theorems. Today’s topics: inductive types (continued), function definition and evaluation, specifications, and basic tactics. We talked about
intro
andapply
, and how tactic mode is like a proving minigame.More on Chapter 2 next time!

Lecture09/20/2021
MondayBackward (tactic) proofsWe’ll dive into the meat of the HHG Ch. 2: what are some of the moves available to us in the tactic proving minigame, beyond
intro
andapply
? How do we deal with logical connectives:and
,or
,not
, and so on? 
Assignment09/20/2021
MondayAssignment #2 released! 
Lecture09/22/2021
WednesdayBackward (tactic) proofs, continuedWe’ll continue talking about tactic proofs. How do we deal with equality? What about the natural numbers?
We’ll also talk about classical vs constructive logic.

Due09/22/2021 15:00
WednesdayAssignment #1 due 
Lecture09/27/2021
MondayForward proofsWe’ll see another way to write proofs in Lean, incorporating forward reasoning.
Structured (“proofterm”) proofs are a little closer to the underlying logic. Surprise: proofs in Lean are, literally, just terms in the type theory.

Assignment09/27/2021
MondayAssignment #3 released! 
Lecture09/29/2021
WednesdayDependent typesThe type theory that Lean is based on, the Calculus of Inductive Constructions, is an instance of dependent type theory. In DTT, we follow the PAT principle: propositions as types, proofs as terms. (Buzzword: the CurryHoward correspondence!) We’ll look deeper today into these foundations.

Due09/29/2021 15:00
WednesdayAssignment #2 due 
Lecture10/04/2021
MondayFunctional programming: data structuresChapter 4 of the Hitchhiker’s Guide introduces some paradigms – inductive types, structures, recursive definitions, type classes – that might be familiar from other functional programming languages. The interesting thing for us is how these paradigms interact with writing proofs. For instance, how do we mix properties into data structures?

Assignment10/04/2021
MondayAssignment #4 released! 
Lecture10/06/2021
WednesdayFunctional programming: type classes, lists, treesType classes are a language feature inspired by Haskell with equivalents in Scala, ML, and other languages. They allow us a kind of ad hoc polymorphism: we can define functions on types that implement certain interfaces, and can declare that certain types implement these interfaces, without bundling the interfaces into the data type itself.
We’ll see how this interacts with some of the data structures we like to use, as we implement and specify functions on these types.

Due10/06/2021 15:00
WednesdayAssignment #3 due 
No Lecture10/11/2021
MondayIndigenous Peoples' Day 
Lecture10/13/2021
WednesdayInductive predicatesWe’ll cover ch. 5 of the Hitchhiker’s Guide today, on inductive predicates. This will complete what we need to know about foundations for now: inductive predicates give us a way to introduce new propositions and prove things about them.
Inductive predicates are also the source of most of the propositional symbols we’ve used so far –
and
,or
,exists
,eq
, …. 
Due10/13/2021 15:00
WednesdayAssignment #4 due 
Lecture10/18/2021
MondayBigstep operational semanticsWe’re jumping ahead to Chapter 8 today! Time to start putting what we’ve learned into practice. We’ll define the syntax of a toy programming language inside of Lean, discussing the difference between shallow and deep embeddings. Using inductive predicates, we’ll define a transition system and use this to prove things about the execution of programs in this toy language.

Assignment10/18/2021
MondayAssignment #5 (chs. 5 and 8) released! 
Lecture10/20/2021
WednesdaySmallstep operational semanticsThe bigstep semantics we saw on Monday aren’t finegrained. We can’t reason about intermediate states. An alternative is using a smallstep semantics, where our program execution path is broken down much further. This comes with upsides and downsides.

Lecture10/25/2021
MondayDenotational semanticsOperational semantics define the meaning of a program by the process it follows to evaluate. In contrast, denotational semantics define the meaning of a program as a mathematical object, a relation between possible inputs and outputs. Today we’ll cover all of Ch 10 of the HHG.

Assignment10/25/2021
MondayAssignment #6 (chs. 8 and 10) released! 
Lecture10/27/2021
WednesdayAlgebraic structuresWe’ll jump ahead again to chapter 12, where we’ll start talking about algebraic structures. But we’ll also improvise a bit here. After we see some basic structures, we’ll define some mathematical types of our own.

Due10/27/2021 15:00
WednesdayAssignment #5 due 
Lecture11/01/2021
MondayNumbers and setsWe’ll continue the Ch 12 material we started last week, including a little more with the complex number playground. We’ll also talk about embeddings between different numerical structures, and some different kinds of “setlike” objects.

Assignment11/01/2021
MondayAssignment #7 (ch 12) released! 
Lecture11/03/2021
WednesdayLogical foundationsAs this course has progressed, we’ve gotten some insight into the foundations of Lean and its type theory. But some features have remained mysterious. In the next few lectures we’ll poke some more at this foundational theory. Today we’ll be focusing in particular on the type universe
Prop
, what we’re allowed and disallowed in this universe compared to the others. 
Due11/03/2021 15:00
WednesdayAssignment #6 due 
Assignment11/05/2021
FridayFinal project released! 
Lecture11/08/2021
MondayLogical foundations, continuedWe’ll continue with chapter 11 today, talking about more foundational constructs. As we discussed last class, there’s a grab bag of features that we can take or leave: proof irrelevance, impredicative Prop, the axiom of choice, and others. Why should we be convinced that the collection we choose is consistent? We’ll introduce the notion of a model of the type theory to answer questions like this.

Assignment11/08/2021
MondayAssignment #8 (ch 11) released! 
Lecture11/10/2021
WednesdayQuotients, rationals, and realsThe last bit of Ch. 11, on quotient types, is very relevant to what we want to do next! We’ll wrap up that discussion (including talking a bit about the computability properties of quotients) and then immediately use quotient types to define some familiar things. Rational and real numbers are interesting mathematically, and for programming purposes, they can be a very convenient tool for writing specifications. Even if we don’t compute with real numbers they’re useful to have around.

Due11/10/2021 15:00
WednesdayAssignment #7 due 
Lecture11/15/2021
MondayReal numbersWe finished last week with the rational numbers. Now we need to complete them to get the reals. This will take yet another quotient. The reals bring to light some computability issues that we’ve touched on briefly before: what does it mean to compute with real numbers? How do we do it in normal languages? If time permits, we’ll look at mathlib’s implementation of the reals and see some generalizations.

Assignment11/16/2021
TuesdayAssignment #9 (ch 13) released! 
Lecture11/17/2021
WednesdayMonads and tacticsLean has a very powerful framework for writing custom tactics. These tactics are written in Lean itself, with a number of catches to make this possible. Today we’ll see the fundamentals of this approach. We’ll learn the (very) basics about monads, a technique used in some functional languages to simulate programming with side effects. (But this isn’t an FP class and we’re not going to dwell on monads, beyond what we need to know.)
Chapter 6 of the HHG is a more detailed introduction to monads. We’ll cover a bit of this, but mainly take an alternate approach to Chapter 7.

Due11/17/2021 15:00
WednesdayAssignment #8 due 
Lecture11/22/2021
MondayMonads and tacticsMore from chapters 6 and 7 of the HHG: we’ll look at the
expr
type, which reflects Lean expressions as a Lean datatype. There’s a big API around creating, modifying, and using expressions – unsurprisingly, since this is what’s meta about metaprogramming! 
Assignment11/22/2021
MondayAssignment #10 (ch 7) released! 
No Lecture11/24/2021
WednesdayThanksgiving break 
Lecture11/29/2021
MondayMonads and tacticsThere are lots of subtleties to writing metaprograms that we’ve skimmed over so far. In particular, there’s a disconnect between the syntax we use when writing tactics and the syntax we use within
begin...end
blocks. We’ll touch on these subtleties today. Time permitting, we’ll talk about design strategies for metaprograms, including certification and proof by reflection. 
Lecture12/01/2021
WednesdayLinear arithmeticThe tactic
linarith
solves linear programs over ordered rings. It’s a great example of a “large” metaprogram that shows off a number of interesting design principles. We’ll talk both about the algorithm it implements and the strategy used in implementing the tactic itself. 
Due12/01/2021 15:00
WednesdayAssignment #9 due 
Lecture12/06/2021
MondayOur final class will have a guest lecturer: Jeremy Avigad will tell us about a project he and others have been working on to verify smart contract executions. The work he’ll talk about is also described in this paper (code). No prior experience with blockchains will be assumed: I know nothing about them myself!
Jeremy will join us via Zoom, which I’ll project to the class. Join in person or remotely, whichever you prefer. After Jeremy’s guest talk, we’ll have some time to chat about your final projects.

Due12/08/2021 15:00
WednesdayAssignment #10 due 
Due12/15/2021 23:59
WednesdayFinal project due