15-213/18-213/15-513/18-613: Introduction to Computer Systems (ICS)

Spring 2020
15-213/18-213 Lecture 1: TR 1:30-2:50, GHC 4401, Seth Goldstein and Saugata Ghose
15-213/18-213 Lecture 2: TR 1:30-2:50, HOA 160, (Live Stream from GHC 4401)
15-513 Lecture slides and video via course page Brian Railing
18-613 Pittsburgh: TR 12:00-1:20, DH A302, Ian Lane
18-613 Silicon Valley: TR 9:00-10:20, Building 23, Room 211 Ian Lane
18-613 Rwanda: TR 7:00-8:20, CMR F307
12 units

The ICS 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.

Course Syllabus

Prerequisites: 15-122

What's New?

  • 9 January 2020.
    • First day of class is January 14.
    • Lab 0 will be posted January 14 and is due January 23.
    • No recitations the weeks of January 13 and January 20

Getting Help

Piazza Piazza
Email Please use Piazza for help, instead of email. Posts to Piazza are private by default.
Tutoring Drop in tutoring, location and time TBD
Office Hours
  • Sun 6:00pm-10:00pm
  • Mon 6:00pm-10:00pm
  • Tue 11:00am-1:00pm, 6:00pm-10:00pm
  • Wed 6:00pm-10:00pm
  • Thu 11:00am-1:00pm, 6:00pm-10:00pm
  • Fri 6:00pm-10:00pm
Conceptual Office Hours
  • Sun 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Mon 5:00pm-7:00pm
  • Tue 5:00pm-7:00pm
  • Wed 5:00pm-7:00pm
  • Sat 6:00pm-8:00pm
We use an online queue. All times are in Eastern Time. Please specify a Zoom meeting ID or link when adding yourself to the queue.
Office hours for the professors are given below.

Course Materials

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

For details See the course syllabus for details (below is just a few overview bits).
15/18-213 Recitations Section A: Mon 9:30-10:20, WEH 4709 (Kashish & Alisha)
Section B: Mon 10:30-11:20, PH 226A (Pallavi & Pranathi)
Section C: Mon 11:30-12:20, SH 222 (Jeremy & Jenny)
Section D: Mon 12:30-1:20, BH 235A (Kusha & Dennis)
Section E: Mon 1:30-2:20, WEH 5312 (Brian & Madhurachaitra)
Section F: Mon 2:30-3:20, SH 220 (Marysia & Rishabh)
Section G: Mon 3:30-4:20, BH 255A (Abigale & Mingzhong)
Section H: Mon 4:30-5:20, BH 235A (Neha & Adithi)
Section I: Mon 5:30-6:20, BH 235A (Matthew & Joel)
Section J: Mon 12:30-1:20, PH A22 (Gauri & Mike)
Section K: Mon 1:30-2:20, PH A22 (Azaan & Tiffany)
Section L: Mon 2:30-3:20, PH A22 (Ishita & Spoorthi)
Section M: Mon 3:30-4:20, PH A22 (Di & Tianxin)
Section N: Mon 4:30-5:20, PH A22 (Anja & Jack)
18-613 Recitations Section A: Wed 4:30-5:50, BH 136A (Abhijith & Joshua)
Section B: Wed 4:30-5:50, GHC 4307 (Kevin & Akshath)
Section C: Wed 6:30-7:50, BH 136A (Hiroko & Sathya)
Section SA: Wed 5:00-6:20, B23 211 (Xiang, Hongji, & Yufeng)
Textbooks Randal E. Bryant and David R. O'Hallaron,
Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective, Third Edition, Pearson, 2016
  Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie,
The C Programming Language, Second Edition, Prentice Hall, 1988
Credit 12 units
Grading Composed from total lab performance (50%) and total exam performance (50%).
Labs There are 8 labs (L0-L7), not evenly weighted. See the assignments page for the breakdown.
Exams There is one midterm exam, in class, closed book (20%).
There is a final exam, in class, closed book (30%).
Home https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~213
Questions Piazza, office hours
Canvas We are using Canvas for this course to conduct ungraded, in-class quizzes. Your grading information will be kept up to date in Autolab, not in Canvas.
Course Directory /afs/cs/academic/class/15213-s20/


Name Seth Goldstein Saugata Ghose Brian Railing Ian Lane
Contact seth@cmu.edu
Office GHC 7111 REH 248 GHC 6005 PH B22
Office Hours Tue 3pm-4pm
Wed 1pm-2pm
Tue 11am-12pm
Thu 3pm-4pm
Mon 2:30-4:30pm
When door is open
Wed 3pm - 4pm

ECE Course Hub (HH 1112)

They are open 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.