Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Computer and Information Science

First Advisor

Stephanie Weirich


Dependently typed languages allow us to develop programs and write

proofs quickly and without errors, and the last decade has seen many

success stories for verified programming with dependent types.

Despite these successes, dependently typed languages are rarely used

for day-to-day programming tasks. There are many reasons why these

languages have not been more widely adopted. This thesis addresses

two of them: First, existing dependently typed languages restrict

recursion and require programmers to prove that every function

terminates. Second, traditional representations of equality are

inconvenient to work with because they require too much typing

information and because their eliminations clutter terms.

This thesis introduces PCC-Theta, a new dependently typed core

language that addresses these problems. To handle potentially

non-terminating computations, PCC-Theta is split into two fragments: a

programmatic fragment with support for general recursion, and a

logical fragment that is restricted for consistency. Crucially,

while the logical fragment is consistent, it can reason about programs

written in the inconsistent programmatic fragment. To make equality

reasoning easier, PCC-Theta includes a novel heterogeneous notion of

equality whose eliminations are not marked in terms.

The metatheory of PCC-Theta is studied in detail, including a complete

proof of normalization and consistency for its logical fragment. The

normalization proof required the development of a novel technique,

partially step-indexed logical relations, which is motivated and

explained. Additionally, to demonstrate that PCC-Theta addresses the

problems described above, we have extended it to a complete core

language Theta, adding features like user-defined datatypes and an

infinite hierarchy of universes. Several examples are carried out in

Theta, and an implementation is available.