15-213/18-243 Introduction to Computer Systems

Spring 2009
Lecture 1: Gregory Kesden, TR 6:30-7:50, WEH 7500
Lecture 2: Markus Pueschel, TR 1:30-2:50, BH A51 (Giant Eagle Auditorium)
12 units

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.)

Prerequisites: 15-123 Effective Programming in C and UNIX

What's New?

  • The course is over. Have a great summer!

Help (Labs, technical questions)

Email: 15-213-staff@cs
Office Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-9:00, West Wing Cluster

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 (split) Lecture 1: TR 6:30-7:50 WEH 7500
Lecture 2: TR 1:30-2:50 BH A51
Recitations Section A: Mon 9:30-10:20, WEH 5310, Hormoz Zarnani
Section B: Mon 10:30-11:20, WEH 6423, Brett Simmers
Section C: Mon 11:30-12:20, DH 1211, Dan Burrows
Section D: Mon 12:30-1:20, PH 125B, Ian Lenz
Section E: Mon 1:30-2:20, WEH 5302, Hunter Pitelka
Section F: Mon 11:30-12:20, WEH 5310, Christina Johns
Section G: Mon 12:30-1:20, DH 1209, Celestine Lau
Section H: Mon 1:30-2:20, WEH 5310, Ben Blum
Section I: Mon 2:30-3:20, WEH 5310, Alex Gartrell
Section J and W: Mon 3:30-4:20, CIC DEC (1st floor CIC building), Nathan Mickulicz
Textbooks Randal E. Bryant and David R. O'Hallaron,
Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective, Prentice Hall, 2003
(The authors are donating the royalties from CMU book sales to CMU, to be used for CMU undergraduates)
  Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie,
The C Programming Language, 2nd edition, Prentice Hall, 1988
Credit 12 units
Grading Composed from total lab performance (L) and total exam performance (E).
The lower of the two is weighted with 0.6, the higher of the two is weighted with 0.4
Labs There are 7 labs not evenly weighted
Midterms There are 2 midterm exams, in class, open book:
Exam 1, Chapters 1-3, 5-6, weight: 1/4 of the exam grade
Exam 2, Chapters 7-8,10, weight: 1/4 of the exam grade
Final There is a final exam, open book:
weight: 1/2 of the exam grade
Home http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~213
Questions Email to 15-213-staff@cs, office hours Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-9:00, West Wing Cluster
Blackboard Only used for grading
Directory /afs/cs/academic/class/15213-s09/


  Gregory Kesden Markus Pueschel
Contact gkesden@cs or x8-1590 pueschel@ece or x8-3804
Office Wean Hall 8020 Porter Hall B16
Office Hours schedule T 3-4pm

Course Assistant

  Cindy Chemsak
Contact cindyc@cs
Office NSH 4303, x8-7884