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

Spring 2016
15-213/18-213 Lecture 1: TR 1:30-2:50, GHC 4401, Seth Goldstein and Franz Franchetti
15-513: Panopto and course web page
12 units (6 - 12 units for 15-513)

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?

  • Apr 27st: There is a final review session on May 1 from 6pm-10pm in Rashid.
  • Apr 21st: Please sign up for a final exam time.
  • Apr 10th: The final exams will be given similar to how the midterm exams were. Exam slots will be available from 5/2 -- 5/5. You can now sign up.
  • Mar 15th: You now can access your midterm exam and look at your score. Please read how to access it and how to submit regrade requests here.
  • Mar 10th: Early next week (week of 3/14) we will give you the ability to look at your exam and you will have 7 days to submit your regrade request. Stay tuned for the logistics of how to get access to your exam. Your score will be available by then.
  • Feb 25th: A practice exam is available to take online.
  • Feb 22th: Please register for the midterm..
  • Feb 11th: If you downloaded attacklab before 2/11 1:40pm, read this!.
  • Feb 10th: New office hours posted.
  • Jan 30th: We are experimenting with Piazza.
  • Jan 28th: Walk in tutoring hours now available on Monday and Wednesday.
  • Jan 22nd: Additional Linux boot camp slides have been added to clarify some basics, such as connecting to the shark machines and using the Vim editor for the first time. The full slide deck used at the event is still available from the schedule page, and there are some quick reference sheets on the resources page.
  • Jan 12th: A new FAQ for 15-513 has been added for questions specific to that course number.
  • Jan 12th: Check the schedule page for the slides and video of the first lecture.
  • Jan 12th: We will hold a linux bootcamp Sunday evening, 11/17, 8pm in GHC4401.
  • Jan 11th: If you do NOT have an Autolab account for 213/513 this semester, please add your name to this form. We will update the autolab accounts once a day, so check back in 24 hours.
  • Jan 5th: Course Website being updated, check back soon.

Getting Help

Email 15-213-staff@cs.cmu.edu
Tutoring: Drop in tutoring at Mudge Reading room (Monday: 8:30-11pm, Wednesday: 8:30-11pm)
Office Hours WeH 5207, Sunday-Thursday, 5pm-9pm (5:30pm on Thursday)
Office hour specifics can be found here.

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).
Lectures TR 1:30-2:50 GHC 4401
Recitations Section A: Mon 9:30-10:20, DH 1217, Nikhil
Section B: Mon 10:30-11:20, WEH 5302, Jenna
Section C: Mon 11:30-12:20, WEH 5302, Sol
Section D: Mon 12:30-1:20, WEH 5302, Ted & Justin
Section E: Mon 1:30-2:20, WEH 5302, Jack
Section F: Mon 2:30-3:20, WEH 5302, Raghav & Isaac
Section G: Mon 3:30-4:20, WEH 5302, Namrita & Shantanu
Section H: Mon 4:30-5:20, WEH 5302, Ralf
Section I: Mon 9:30-10:20, SH 214, Preeti
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 7 labs, 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 http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~213
Questions Email to 15-213-staff@cs.cmu.edu. Visit office hours (see above)
Blackboard We are not using Blackboard for this course.
Course Directory /afs/cs/academic/class/15213-s16/


Name Franz Franchetti Seth Goldstein Brian Railing Ralf Brown
Contact franzf@ece.cmu.edu,
Office HH A-312 GHC 7111 GHC 6025 GHC 5711
Office Hours Wed 4:00-5:00pm
(or by appt)
Wed 10:00-11:00am
(or by appt)
Thu 11:00am-12:00pm
(or by appt)
Tue 12:00pm-1:00pm
(or by appt)

ECE Course Hub (HH 1112)

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