CSC 371
Systems I

Computer Architecture
Spring, 1999

This course meets from 4:30 - 5:45 PM TTh in room 116 of Alumnae Hall (just a few steps from my office). Note: the printed schedule of classes says it meets in Business 39, but we know better, don't we?

The book Computer Organization & Design: the Hardware/Software Interface, by David Patterson and John Hennessy, is required. This is the second edition of a textbook whose first edition I've used for the past several years. I've downloaded the errata sheet from the authors, dated 2 March, 1998; there's probably a more up-to-date errata sheet at the textbook website.

For information on the electronic hardware components we're using in the lab, see Texas Instruments' page on logic chips. In addition, we sometimes need resistors (e.g. to pull down the output of an unpowered switch); resistors are marked with a standard color code. (That page comes from the Electric Club, a very nicely done sequence of classes in basic electricity. It's aimed at grade-school students, but the information is there.) There's also an interactive page on resistor color codes.

As an experiment in on-line, Web-assisted teaching, parts of this course will be on the TopClass system, which not only provides a place for the instructor to post readings and homework assignments, but also provides email, discussion lists, and on-line (optionally auto-graded) tests and quizzes. At present I don't plan to make the on-line tests part of the semester grade, but to use them for self-assessment, so you can check how well you understand the material in the textbook.

The syllabus is available in LaTeX, DVI, Postscript, and HTML.

An updated schedule will contain the latest updates to homework due dates, lecture topics, etc.

We'll be using the same MIPS processor simulator, SPIMSAL, that we used last semester in Systems I, but will no longer use the SAL extensions to the language.

Homework Assignments

I shall assign several homework assignments during the semester, mostly "paper assignments" (i.e. not programming), although they may be turned in on paper or by email.

Reading assignments

By Thursday, Mar. 25, you should have read chapters 1-4 and all of Appendix B.
Please read the page on the algebra of units.
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