15-213/15-513/18-213 Introduction to Computer Systems

Summer 2012
Lecture 1: Gregory Kesden, TWR 1:30-2:50, GHC 4307
12 units (3 units for 513)

This course provides a programmer's view of how computer systems execute programs, store information, and communicate. It enables students to become more effective programmers, especially in dealing with issues of performance, portability and robustness. It also serves as a foundation for courses on compilers, networks, operating systems, and computer architecture, where a deeper understanding of systems-level issues is required. Topics covered include: machine-level code and its generation by optimizing compilers, performance evaluation and optimization, computer arithmetic, memory organization and management, networking technology and protocols, and supporting concurrent computation.

Syllabus (pdf) (includes rules on cheating, late assignments etc.)

Prerequisite: 15-122 Imperative Programming

What's New?

  • Welcome one! Welcome all!

Course Material

Schedule Lecture schedule, slides, recitation notes, readings, and code
Assignments Details of assignments, due dates, and policies
Exams Information about quizzes, exams, and final
Lab Machines Instructions for using the lab machines
Resources Additional course resources

Course Information

Lectures Lecture 1: TWR 1:30-2:50, GHC 4307
Recitations Monday or Friday (TBA) 1:30-2:50pm, GHC 4307
Office Hours
  • Gregory Kesden: Tu-We-Th, 3:00-4:30, GHC 7711
  • Boyan Li: 10am-noon Tuesday, 1:30-3:30pm Friday, GHC 7509
  • Rick Benua: Monday 1:00-3:00PM, Wednesday 7:00-9:00PM, Gates 3000
  • Tarek Abdellatif: 10pm - midnight, Mondays - Thursdays (Skype: m.tarek.abdellatif, irc.freenode.net, ##213)
Textbooks Randal E. Bryant and David R. O'Hallaron,
Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective, 2nd ed, Prentice Hall, 2011
  Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie,
The C Programming Language, 2nd edition, Prentice Hall, 1988
Credit 12 units
Grading Exams - 50% (final exam - 30%, Mid-terms - 20%)
Labs - 50%
Labs There are 7 labs not evenly weighted
Home http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~213
Questions Email to 15-213-staff@cs
Lectures via Panopto Available through Schedule page
Directory /afs/cs/academic/class/15213-m12/


  Gregory Kesden
Contact gkesden@cs or x8-1590
Office GHC 7711
Office Hours schedule