General information

The instructor for CSCI 254 is Dean Brock. The title is a good description of the course. Here we show how a computer is organized, or implemented in terms of electronic devices. We leave the solid state electronics to the physicists and start with logic gates and work our way through the implementation of some of the major components of a modern computer system.

The course will meet on Tuesday and Thursday from 3:05 PM to 4:20 PM. The textbook for the course will be Computer Systems Architecture written by Morris Mano and published by Prentice Hall (ISBN 0-13-175563-3). We will cover approximately the first eight chapters of the textbook.

You will use diglog, a public domain circuit design and simulation package that runs on the workstations in Robinson 004, for several assignments. I'm afraid that diglog is not a very user friendly program, so you may find it a bit frustrating to use. If you haven't used Unix workstations, you should invest in a copy of Unix for the Impatient by Paul Abrahams and Bruce A. Larson (Addison-Wesley, ISBN: 0-201-55703-7). By the way, under no circumstances may you allow anyone else to use your workstation account!

Grades will be based on a combination of graded homework, two tests, and one final exam. In the calculation of final grades, the following weights will be used:

The final exam will be given on Thursday, December 14, from 3:05 PM to 5:35 PM.

My office hours are Monday and Wednesday from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM. I do frequently read electronic mail and sending a message to my computer account,, is generally the best way to get a prompt response.

Copies of all handouts for CSCI 254 are available via the internet at Copies of all handouts, including exams, for the last two offerings of CSCI 254 are available at the following two URLs:

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