15-213 Introduction to Computer Systems

Spring 2007
Frank Pfenning
Lecture, TuTh 9:00-10:20, DH 2210
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.

Prerequisites: 15-113 System Skills in C, and 15-211 Fundamental Data Structures and Algorithms

What's New?

  • (5/14) The final exam has been graded and scores posted to Blackboard. The proxylab scores will be posted later today. If you would like to examine your final, you may find me in my office probably most of the day today.
  • (5/14) Final exam and sample solutions are now available.
  • (5/1) There will be an ad hoc group office hour to answer questions about the final on Wednesday, May 9, 11:30-3:00 in WeH 8220.
  • (4/12) Midterm 2 has been graded and scores are posted on Blackboard. You may look at your exam, either during the instructors office hours or other times he is available. The exam will not be returned.
  • (4/12) Exam 2 and a sample solution are available.
  • (3/18) Cyclone material (for lectures 14 and 15)
  • (2/28) Exam 1 has been grades and scores posted to Blackboard.
    A sample solution is also available.
  • (2/12) Quiz 3 will be available Mon Feb 12, 4:30pm until Wed Feb 14, 11:30pm so it is not due at the same time as Lab 2.

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 TuTh 9:00-10:20, DH 2210 Note new room!
Recitations Section A, Mon 10:30-11:20, WeH 5312, Yongjun Jeon
Section B, Mon 11:30-12:20, WeH 5312, Aleksey Kliger
Section C, Mon 12:30-1:20, WeH 5312, Timmy Zhu
Section D, Mon 1:30-2:20, WeH 5312, Shiwei Song
Section E, Mon 2:30-3:20, WeH 5312, Eugene Marinelli
Section F, Mon 3:30-4:20, WeH 5312, Stephen Magill
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 60% Labs(7), 10% Quizzes(7+1), 15% Midterm Exams(2), 15% Final Exam
Labs There are 7 labs worth a total of 600 points
Quizzes There are 8 quizzes on Blackboard, 15 points each
The lowest score is dropped, so the total is 100 (+5 extra) points.
Midterms There are 2 midterm exams, in class, open book
Exam 1, Ch 1-6, 75 points
    Tue Feb 27, 9:00-10:20,
Sections A,B,C in DH 2210; Section D,E,F in WeH 7500
Exam 2, Ch 7-8,10-11, 75 points
    Tue Apr 11, 9:00-10:20,
Sections A,B,C in DH 2210; Section D,E,F in WeH 7500
Final There is a final exam, open book, worth 150 points
Thu May 10, 8:30am-11:30am, UC McConomy
Home http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~fp/courses/15213-s07/
Newsgroup news:cmu.cs.class.cs213
Usually checked at least once a day
For faster turnaround, e-mail the teaching assistants
Blackboard http://www.cmu.edu/blackboard/
Used only for tracking of grades and on-line quizzes
Directories /afs/cs.cmu.edu/academic/class/15213-s07/


  Frank Pfenning
Contact fp@cs or x8-6343
Office Wean Hall 8117
Office Hours Wed 2:30-3:30

Teaching Assistants

  Contact Recitation Office Hours
Yongjun Jeon yongjunj@andrew Section A
Mon 10:30-11:20, WeH 5312
Tue 6:00pm-7:30pm
Wean Cluster
Aleksey Kliger aleksey@cs Section B
Mon 11:30-12:20, WeH 5312
Thu 6:00pm-7:30pm
Wean Cluster
Timothy Zhu timothyz@andrew Section C
Mon 12:30-1:20, WeH 5312
Fri 8:30pm-10:00pm
Morewood Cluster
Shiwei Song shiweis@andrew Section D
Mon 1:30-2:20, WeH 5312
Wed 4:30pm-6:00pm
Wean Cluster 5207
Eugene Marinelli emarinel@andrew Section E
Mon 2:30-3:20, WeH 5312
Wed 11:30am-1:00pm
Wean Cluster 5207
Stephen Magill smagill@cs Section F
Mon 3:30-4:20, WeH 5312
Thu 2:00pm-3:30pm
Wean Cluster 5207

Course Assistant

  Jennifer Landefeld
Contact jennsbl@cs.cmu.edu
Office Wean Hall 8120

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Frank Pfenning