Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics


Computer Science

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

John Jenq

Committee Member

Dorothy Deremer

Committee Member

Edward Boyno


Beginning programming students have access to sophisticated development tools that enable them to write syntactically correct code in a straightforward manner. However, code that compiles and runs can still execute poorly, or with unintended results. We present a tool, based on an open-source parser-generation product written in Java, that performs semantic analysis of novice Java code. Specifically, the present investigation concerns the semantics of Java output methods, particularly when they are enclosed within iterative structures in the language. The effort will be to guard against threats that such methods pose to system integrity and performance, intercepting them prior to runtime. The approach used here closely models the analysis a human reviewer would perform, given a printed copy of the code. The tool is an open-source product, like the parser generator, and is also written in Java. As such, it is written to be extensible. The tool will be integrated into a larger research project underway at Montclair State University which involves the development of an online grading system for students in beginning computer programming courses.

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