15-213/18-243 Introduction to Computer Systems

Spring 2010
Lecture 1: Gregory Kesden, TR 6:30-7:50, GHC 4401
Lecture 2: Bill Nace, TR 1:30-2:50, GHC 4401
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?

  • Welcome back! We're so glad that you are here!

Help (Labs, technical questions)

Email: 15-213-staff@cs
Office Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 6:00-9:00, Wean Hall 5207 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 GHC 4401
Lecture 2: TR 1:30-2:50 GHC 4401
Recitations Section A: Mon 9:30-10:20, WEH 5302
Section B: Mon 10:30-11:20, WEH 5302
Section C: Mon 11:30-12:20, WEH 5302
Section D: Mon 12:30-1:20, WEH 5302
Section E: Mon 1:30-2:20, WEH 5302
Section F: Mon 11:30-12:20, WEH 6423
Section G: Mon 12:30-1:20, WEH 6423
Section H: Mon 1:30-2:20, WEH 6423
Section I: Mon 2:30-3:20, WEH 6423
Section J: Mon 3:30-4:20, WEH 6423
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, 6:00-9:00, Wean 5207 Cluster
Blackboard Not used
Directory /afs/cs/academic/class/15213-s10/


  Gregory Kesden Bill Nace
Contact gkesden@cs or x8-1590 wnace@cmu.edu or x8-7027
Office GHC 7711 HH D207
Office Hours schedule Wednesdays 2:00-4:30