C++ for Advanced Programmers

Title C++ for Advanced Programmers (51044)
Quarter Winter 2020
Instructor Michael Spertus (spertus@cs.uchicago.edu)


Course Description

This course covers the major features of C++ in an accelerated fashion suitable both for experienced C++ programmers and programmers who are new to C++ as described in the prerequisites below. The course teaches how to get the most out of the current C++11 language, which Bjarne Stroustrup, the inventor of C++, says "feels like a new language." It also discusses how to workaround in old versions of C++.


A dominant theme of the course is how to use the unique features of C++ to operate at a high-level of abstraction to support powerful design idioms and improve maintainability while also achieving the kind of performance and low-level control usually associated with lower-level languages such as C and even assembler language.

Course Contents

    Great ideas of C++ (Overview)

    Classes and Object-orientation

    Classes and Object-orientation (cont), C++ Libraries (including Boost)

    Overloading, memory management, and their associated (far from obvious) consequences and idioms

    Low-level and performance programming

    Templates and specialization

    Concurrency in C++11, including cache-conscious programming

    Concurrency in C++11, including cache-conscious programming (cont)

    Type traits and introduction to metaprogramming

    Overview of C++ best practices


Weekly programming assignments make up 2/3 of the grade. The student can choose between taking a final or writing an independent project for the remaining 1/3 of the grade.

Course Textbook

No textbooks required, but please download a copy of the C++ standard fromhttp://www.open-std.org/jtc1/sc22/wg21/docs/papers/2011/n3242.pdf. A list of useful books and websites will be made available.

About the Instructor

"As the founder of Boost (www.boost.org), the first and best known C++ library repository, and also as a long-time voting member of the C++ standards committee, I have come into contact with many of the notables of the C++ world. Mike Spertus is right up there with the best of them." -- Beman Dawes


Michael Spertus is a Distinguished Engineer at Symantec, where he serves as the Chief Architect for Symantec's Information Security Service. He is also a member of the C++ Standards Committee, where he has authored over 30 standard proposals. He has been involved in C/C++ languages since the 1980s, when he helped write one of the first commercial MS-DOS C compiler for the IBM PC-AT.

Prerequisites (Courses)

Core Programming

Prerequisites (Other)

Students are not required to know C++ (although the course is also very appropriate for experienced C++ programmers).


Elective; May satisfy Core Programming with consent.


Thursday 5:30-8:30pm


Ryerson 251