18-213/18-613: Computer Systems

Summer 2023

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: C or better in 15-122

What's New?

  • 17 May 2023
    • The adventure begins today! We're so glad you are here!
    • Check out this Quick Start Guide to learn more.
    • Please make sure you can see the course on Canvas
    • Autolab accounts will be created shortly
    • You can start Lab 0 immediately, it is available via the course schedule page.
    • Live participation in lecture is optional, but encouraged. Please turn your camera on should you choose to attend.
    • Lecture video is usually available the morning after the lecture via Canvas.
    • Should you choose not to attend lecture, please watch the video within 24 hours.
    • The Zoom link remains TBA. We'll announce it shortly.
    • Attendance at small group meetings is required

    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 (Beginning Week #2) Instead of an office hours queue, youll be able to sign up for office hours slots
    TBA via Zoom
    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%). The midterm exam counts as a double homework
    Labs There are 8 labs (L0-L7), not evenly weighted. See the labs page for the breakdown.
    Exam There is a final exam, held on Friday, August 12th (remotely administered), 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-m22/


    Name Greg Kesden
    Contact gkesden@andrew.cmu.edu
    Office HH A205 (PIT)
    Office Hours https://www.andrew.cmu.edu/~gkesden/schedule.html