CSCI 226 / Spring 2019

Computer Systems and Organization


Office Hours:

  • Mondays, 1:30 - 3:30 pm
  • Thursdays, 3:30 - 4:30 pm
  • ... and by appointment.


  • Tuesday / Thursday, 2:00 - 3:15 pm
  • Swords 321

The Course Web Page

is located at
Information and Software will be posted in this account.

Summary of Important College Policies and Statements.

Course Description

This course is intended for students who are majoring or minoring in Computer Science.

This course covers fundamental topics related to the design and organization of a modern computing system, including basic digital logic design, machine level representation of data, microcode, assembly language and organization (to understand how high-level programs are converted into low-level instructions that can be executed by hardware, and how programs interface and communicate with other devices), memory organization (and how it may affect the performance of programs), management and architecture, program segmentation and linking, multi-tasking and some operating system features.

Required Textbook

Computer Organization and Architecture, 5th edition
Linda Null and Julia Lobur,
Jones and Bartlett, 2018.
ISBN: 978-1-284-12303-6

Grading & Assignments

There will be at least four (likely more) unit quizzes during the semester. These quizzes will be held subsequent to finishing the material in class, possibly in the late afternoon or early evening. There will be a comprehensive final during the exam period at the end of the semester. There will be several projects and possibly a few smaller homeworks.

The final grade will be computed approximately as follows:

Projects & Homeworks40%
Final exam30%

Late Policy

Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the assigned due date. The maximum possible score for an assignment will be reduced by 10% for each day or portion of a day that the assignment is turned in late. So the maximum possible score for an assignment turned in up to 24 hours late is 90%, and the maximum possible score for an assignment turned in up to 48 hours late is 80%, and so on. The penalty will be determined when all parts of the assignment (both electronic and paper copies, if needed) are received by the instructor or the department administrative assistant. Late work will not be accepted after the graded assignment is returned to the class.

Discussion Log & Collaboration Policy

Please refer to the Math and CS Department Honor Code Policy.

A typed discussion log is required for each and every assignment. No work will be accepted without a written discussion log.

In general, you may refer to your texts, your class notes, and your course instructor for help. You may also consult public literature (books, articles, web sites) for general information and examples, but you should not seek or use published solutions to assignments. You may also talk with with fellow students about general information and strategies for solving assignments, but not specific solutions or code. The work you turn in must be your own. If you are in doubt about what is acceptable, be sure to ask the course instructor.

Clarification about online sources: It is fine to use Google to look for snippets of publicly available code that might help you with assignments, and it is okay to use a limited amount of such code in your own work. You should not take entire solutions or large amounts of code from the web. And you must clearly comment your code to indicate which code and ideas are purely your own, which code or ideas are borrowed or adapted from elsewhere, and where the other code or ideas came from.

In all cases you must cite each source of ideas you adopt in your discussion log for each assignment. You should never present another person's work as your own. By clearly indicating any sources you consult and the people with whom you collaborate, you are giving credit where it is due. If you borrow or adapt code, and if the code is good, then you will get some credit for having found it (you won't get credit for writing it, since you didn't). If you borrow bad code, the fault is all yours.

Discussion Log

For each assignment, you must keep a log detailing every collaboration you had with someone else and every source you consulted when completing the assignment. Each log entry must include: the date and time, the source, the length of time spent talking or reading, and a summary of discussion or material read. You don't need to include the course textbook, the lecture notes, or the instructor, since it is assumed you will consult these sources. Even if you did not discuss anything with anybody and never consulted any other sources, you must still submit a discussion log that says just that. Here is an example—you should use a similar format:

Even if you did not discuss anything with anybody and never consulted any other sources, you must still submit a discussion log that says just that, like so:

Failure to turn in a log will result in a penalty.