using a makefile to create an executable file

Tue Apr 10 22:44:00 GMT 2012

I am very new to Cygwin and have little to no experience with programming.
My professor gave me code for a landscape evolution modeling program written
in C++. I am trying to compile the program so that I can run it as an
executable file through the command prompt on my Windows machine. He wrote
the code on a mac, but he says that it can be compiled on a pc when using
Cygwin. I installed Cygwin version 1.7.5 (according to the website) with
devel (in order to get the make utility and to be compatible with gcc and
g++). I am trying to use the make tool to compile the code from a given make
file ( which is supposed to compile a laundry list of scripts
included in the uploaded zip file. When I run:
make -f

from the source directory, it begins to compile but catches on a warning:
A problem arises when the makefile script gets to tmesh.cpp, line 3982:3,
with the warning "the address of triVal will never be NULL". 
Make then fails to create an executable file: "make *** [childInterface.o]
Error 1". 
The line in question from tmesh.cpp is:  "if( &triVal == 0 ) return 0;".

As I mentioned previously, I have no experience with programming and my only
intent here is to be able to create an executable file from the given code
and makefile. I noticed that a cmake file is also present, but I am unable
to get that to work and understand it even less. Does anyone have any
suggestions on how to successfully use Cygwin to create an exe file from the
given C++ code? 

Thank you for your time,
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