Date 
Topic 
Downloads 
Summary 
9/7 
Introduction 

We’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! 
9/12 
The basics of Lean syntax 

In 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! 
9/14 
The basics of Lean syntax, contd. 

We’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.
More on Chapter 2 next time! 
9/19 
Backward (tactic) proofs 

We’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 and apply ? How do we deal with logical connectives: and , or , not , and so on? 
9/21 
Backward (tactic) proofs, contd. 

We’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. 
9/26 
Forward proofs 

We’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. 
9/28 
Dependent types 

The 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. 
10/3 
Functional programming — data structures 

Chapter 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? 
10/5 
Functional programming — type classes, lists, trees 

Type 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. 
10/12 
Inductive predicates 

We’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 , …. 
10/17 
Bigstep operational semantics 

We’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. 
10/19 
Smallstep operational semantics 

The 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. 
10/24 
Denotational semantics 

Operational 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. 
10/26 
Algebraic structures 

We’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. 
10/31 
Numbers and sets 

We’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. 
11/02 
Logical foundations 

As 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. 
11/07 
Logical foundations, contd. 

We’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. 
11/09 
Quotients, rationals, and reals 

The 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. 
11/14 
Real numbers 

We 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. 
11/16 
Monads and tactics 

Lean 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. 
11/21 
Monads and tactics 

More 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! 
11/28 
Monads and tactics 

We continue to discuss the metaprogramming API, in particular the tools for inspecting and manipulating hypotheses and goals in proofs. We implement a short demo tactic. 
11/30 
Tactic design strategies 

The tactics we've seen so far manipulate the tactic state in stages. Today we'll consider some high level designs for automation: proof by certificate and proof by reflection. 
12/05 
Linear arithmetic 

The 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. 
12/07 
Guest presentations 

A few alums from this class will come in and tell us about verification projects that they have been working on! This will also be an opportunity, if you're interested, to tell us a little bit about what you're doing for your final project. 