18-213/18-613: Computer Systems

Fall 2021

12 units

The 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?

  • 31 August 2021
    • There are some exciting changes to the course this semester. Check out this Quick Start Guide to learn more.
    • First day of class is Tuesday, August 31th

Getting Help

Piazza Piazza
Posts to Piazza are public by default. Think carefully about the AIV policy before posting code or design details. Make a private post, visible only to instructors and TAs, if in doubt.
Email Please use Piazza for help, instead of email, unless trying to contact a specific instructor.
Office Hours Instead of an office hours queue, youll be able to sign up for office hours slots
Sundays - Thursdays, 6-10pm, Ansys A050
Office hours for the professors are given below.

Course Materials

Schedule Lecture schedule, slides, recitation notes, readings, and code
Labs Details of the labs, due dates, and policies
Homeworks Details of the homeworks, due dates, and policies
Exam Information about the final exam
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).
Lectures See above
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%), total homework performance (20%), small group performance (5%), and final exam performance (25%).
Labs There are 8 labs (L0-L7), not evenly weighted. See the labs page for the breakdown.
Exam There is a final exam, held during exam week, closed book.
Home https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~18213
Questions Piazza, office hours
Canvas Canvas will be used (i) to post lecture videos, and (ii) 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/18213-f21/


Name Phil Gibbons Greg Kesden Swarun Kumar
Contact gibbons@cs.cmu.edu gkesden@andrew.cmu.edu swarun@cmu.edu
Office GHC 7221 (PIT) HH A205 (PIT) CIC 4113 (PIT)
Office Hours Tu 3-4 pm https://www.andrew.cmu.edu/~gkesden/schedule.html Fr 6-7 pm on 10/1 and 10/14, Th 5-6 pm all other weeks (no OH on 10/13)