CS 429: Fall, 2015
Computer Organization and Architecture
Instructor: Dr. Bill YoungUnique numbers: 50640, 50645, 50650; Class time: TT 12:30-2:30pm; Location: WEL 1.316
Unique numbers: 50655, 50660, 50665; Class time: TT 3:30-5:30pm; Location: WEL 3.502
Instructor Office: GDC 7.810; Phone: 471-9782; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Instructor Office Hours: TT 10-11:30am and by appointment
TA: Keshav Kini; Email: email@example.com; TA Office Hours: Mondays 2:30--4:30pm, GDC 3rd floor atrium
TA: Cong Ding; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; TA Office Hours: Tuesdays 11:30am--1pm, GDC 1st floor, TA station 1
TA: Ruohan Gao; Email: email@example.com; TA Office Hours: Fridays 9-10:30am, GDC 1st floor, TA station 1
Proctor: Adam Poncher; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Proctor Office Hours: TBA
This website: www.cs.utexas.edu/users/byoung/cs429/syllabus429.html
Important Class Announcements:Breaking news important to the class will be posted here. Consult this spot often.
I'm considering moving Test 2 from 10/15 to 10/20, because a number of students are attending the Grace Hopper Conference on the 15th. Please, let me know if there's some reason why this won't work.
The two labs that I had listed as being in CBA 4.308 should actually be in CBA 4.348. That was a typo on the syllabus. Sorry about that!
The first meeting of the discussions sections will happen this week 9/2 and 9/4. Note that the two discussion sections scheduled for Friday at 9am have been combined and will meet in WEL 2.304, not in the rooms originally reserved.
Your first weekly homework is here: HW1. It is due by this Friday. We're still working out how to submit them.
The department is offering some "Intro to Unix" talks in GDC 2.506. If you haven't used Unix / Linux, attending one of these (they're all the same) could be useful to you. They are 9/4 at 11am; 9/5 at 10am; and 9/8 at 11am.
Note: You must have the 3rd edition of the book, not the 2nd edition. The 3rd edition focuses on the 64-bit x86 architecture, where the 2rd edition focuses on the 32-bit architecture. The 3rd edition will be used next semester for CS439, so don't sell it back if you plan to continue in CS; they're using the 2nd edition this semester for continuity.
Dr. Young's office is in the south wing. You have to take the south elevator, because the two wings don't connect on the 7th floor.
Feel free to email me (Send me an email message), but please put "CS429" in the header.
Course Description:CS429 is the first course in the systems core sequence required of all UT CS majors. It describes how computers operate at a fairly low level of abstraction. For example, we'll consider:
Understanding these fundamentals thoroughly is absolutely essential to your future success in computer science. The material of this course is quite detailed and requires careful and diligent study. If you are not willing to put in the time and effort required to master this material, you probably should reconsider your decision to major in Computer Science.
- What are the components of a computer and how do they fit together?
- How do computers do arithmetic?
- How does the code you write actually execute?
- How does a program in a high level language like C get translated into a form the machine can execute?
- How can you write code likely to execute efficiently?
- How is information stored and accessed?
- How does your program access existing "libraries"?
The students that do well in this class are survivors. This class is a lot of work, and it is important to keep current. The material in this class is cumulative; it can be quite difficult to catch up if one falls behind. It is important to keep turning in homework and come to class.
We will be discussion several different programming languages in this course: C, x86 assembly language, and Y86 assembly language. You will be writing programs in at least C and Y86.
Students are required to attend their assigned lab weekly. Note that the two Friday 9am sections are meeting together in Welch, not in the rooms originally scheduled.
Unique # Time Location TA 50640, 50660 F 9am-11am WEL 2.304 Keshav Kini 50645 F 11am-1pm CBA 4.348 Ruohan Gao 50650 F 2pm-4pm CBA 4.348 Ruohan Gao 50655 W 9am-11am SBZ 370 Cong Ding 50665 W 2pm-4pm SBZ 330 Cong Ding
Using Piazza: We will be using Piazza for class communication. The Piazza system is highly catered to getting you help fast and efficiently from classmates, the TAs, and myself. Rather than emailing questions to the teaching staff, I encourage you to post your questions on Piazza. If you have any problems or feedback for the developers, email email@example.com. The Piazza class page will be posted shortly. Because of some issues in past semester, posts may be anonymous to the class, but not to me. I expect that posts will be pertinent and respectful. Don't use Piazza as a place to vent or trash anyone.
Prerequisites:You are expected to have taken and passed the following courses (or equivalent) with a grade of at least C-: Computer Science 311, 311H, 313H, or 313K; Computer Science 314, 314H, 315, or 315H. If you don't have the prerequisites, be sure to clear it with the CS department or risk being dropped from the class.
Text:The required text book for this class is Computer Systems, A Programmer's Perspective by Randal E. Bryant and David O'Hallaron, Prentice Hall, 2016 (Third Edition). This semester we're moving to the 3rd edition, which is substantially different from the 2nd edition. You must have this book. Note that this book is also used in CS439, so don't sell it back at the end of the semester if you plan on continuing in CS.
Since we will be programming some in C, I recommend that you have access to The C Programming Language, second edition, by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie, Prentice Hall Software Series. This is available on-line. There are also many Web pages devoted to C-language programming. A nice tutorial intro to C is here: C Tutorial. Java programmers should have no problem with the subset of C that we will use.
Class Schedule and Slides:The class schedule is here: schedule. This schedule is approximate; some dates may change. Rely on the assignment handouts, not on this schedule for assignment due dates.
All of the class slides will be made available via links below as we cover new material. You are welcome to print them out or view them on-line. Slides are in PDF form. They are derived from slides developed for the course by Bryant and O'Hallaron and modified by me and other professors. They are used with permission.
Slideset 1: Introduction to Computer Systems PDF
Slides on C: PDF
The following is a tutorial on C generated by a UT grad student: C Tutorial
Slideset 2: Bits and Bytes PDF
Slideset 3: Integers PDF
Slideset 4: Floating Point PDF
Tests:There will be three in-class exams of approximately one hour each. See the schedule for dates. There will be no makeups on in-class exams, but I will drop the lowest of these three scores. The final exam will be at the time and place posted by the registrar for a class in our time slot. That appears to be Wednesday, December 9 from 7-10pm for the 12:30pm class, and Friday, December 11 from 9am to noon for the 3:30pm class. (Because ours are unusual class durations, I'm not positive those times are right, but they probably are.) Don't make travel plans that will conflict with it.
Assignments:Written homework will be assigned each week. It must be submitted to your TA by the end of your discussion section, and will not be accepted late. You may work together on written assignments. This is an easy 15% of your grade so make the most of it.
You will have around 7 labs over the course of the semester. You must work alone on all labs. The due dates will be clearly marked. For labs, you will have 3 total grace days available which you can use over the course of the semester. You'd be advised to save them as long as possible to deal with illnesses and personal emergencies.
Attendance:You are strongly encouraged to come to class. Attendance will not be checked, but my experience indicates that students who regularly miss class do poorly.
Computation of Your Grade:The weighting of the grades for the various aspects of the course are as follows:
Component Percent In class exams (one dropped) 30% Final Exam 20% Homework 15% Labs 35%
It is very important that you do the laboratory assignments. Once a laboratory has been turned in, material concerning a laboratory may appear on an exam.
Grades for the entire course tentatively will be averaged using the weighting below:
Course score Grade [90...100] A [87... 90) A- [85... 87) B+ [80... 85) B [77... 80) B- [75... 77) C+ [70... 75) C [67... 70) C- [65... 67) D+ [60... 65) D [ 0... 60) F
This is tentative. The grades likely will be curved and may be a bit more generous than this. They will certainly not be less generous. That is, if you have a 90 you are guaranteed an A; but somone who gets an 89 may also get an A, depending on the final distribution of grades in the class.
A course grade of at least C- is required for this course to count toward a UT CS degree.
Scholastic Dishonesty:Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. See http://www.cs.utexas.edu/academics/conduct for an excellent summary of expectations of a student in a CS class.
All work must be the student's own effort. Work by students in previous semesters is not your own effort. Don't even think about turning in such work as your own, or even using it as a basis for your work. We have very sophisticated tools to find such cheating and we use them routinely. It's far better to get a 0 on an assignment than to cheat.
No deviation from the standards of scholastic honesty or professional integrity will be tolerated. Scholastic dishonesty is a serious violation of UT policy; and will likely result in an automatic F in the course and may result in further penalties imposed by the department or by the university. Don't do it! If you are caught, you will regret it. And even if you're not caught, you're still a cheater.
Students with Disabilities:Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259, http://www.utexas.edu/diversity/ddce/ssd.
Grad Students Clearing Architecture Background RequirementIf you're a grad student who needs to complete your background requirement in Architecture by exam, I'm happy to help you with that. You can do as little as take the final exam for CS429 with a grade of at least 80%. But be aware that the exams for this class (or any class) are idiosyncratic and assume that the person taking the test is also taking the class. For example, there are questions about x86 syntax and calling conventions. You could be a world-class expert on MIPS or ARM architecture and not do well on the exam. My suggestions is to study the appropriate sections of the Bryant and O'Hallaron book, review the class slides, and take the three in-class exams. Otherwise, you risk not resolving your background deficit.
Some Interesting Links:An Apt Metaphor for CS429
CS students in demand
Layout of a Program in Memory
Disk drive at work
Cache Associativity Cartoon
Ender's Game a Reality
Status of Moore's Law
Good PDP-8 reference
Nice intro to GDB
Thoughts on Endianess
x86 cheat sheet
Primer on Y86
Decimal to FP guide
x86 Assembly Guide
Moore's Law Dead?
Unix, C Hoaxes?
5 Things to Know
Indiana U. Career Overview
Top 10 Jobs for CS Majors
Jobs with High Pay
Cities with Most CS Jobs