Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Computer Science


Computer Science


College of Engineering


Aaron Keen

Advisor Department

Computer Science

Advisor College

College of Engineering


The study of programming languages is a rich field within computer science, incorporating both the abstract theoretical portions of computer science and the platform specific details. Topics studied in programming languages, chiefly compilers or interpreters, are permanent fixtures in programming that students will interact with throughout their career. These systems are, however, considerably complicated, as they must cover a wide range of functionality in order to enable languages to be created and run. The process of educating students thus requires that the demanding workload of creating one of the systems be balanced against the time and resources present in a university classroom setting. Systems building upon these fundamental systems can become out of reach when the number of preceding concepts and thus classes are taken into account. Among these is the study of just-in-time (JIT) compilers, which marry the processes of interpreters and compilers for the purposes of a flexible and fast runtime.

The purpose of this thesis is to present JITed, a framework within which JIT compilers can be developed with a time commitment and workload befitting of a classroom setting, specifically one as short as ten weeks. A JIT compiler requires the development of both an interpreter and a compiler. This poses a problem, as classes teaching compilers and interpreters typically feature the construction of one of those systems as their term project. This makes the construction of both within the same time span as is usually allotted for a single system infeasible. To remedy this, JITed features a prebuilt interpreter, that provides the runtime environment necessary for the compiler portion of a JIT compiler to be built. JITed includes an interface for students to provide both their own compiler and the functionality to determine which portions of code should be compiled. The framework allows for important concepts of both compilers in general and JIT compilers to be taught in a reasonable timeframe.