General information

The instructor for CSCI 254 is Dean Brock. In spite of its rather unusual title, CSCI 254 is a typical Computer Organization course. Here we show how a computer is 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 evenings from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM. Two and a half hours is a long time, so there will be at least one break during the class period. The textbook for the course will be Computer Systems Architecture written by Morris Mano and published by Prentice Hall (ISBN 0-13-175563-3). Be sure to get the 3rd edition. We will cover the first seven chapters of the textbook and sections of chapters eight and twelve.

We 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).

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

The final exam will be given on Tuesday, May 10, from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM. The quizzes will be given at the end of regularly scheduled classes and last about 40 minutes. There will be four or five of these quizzes.

My office hours are Monday and Wednesday from 1:00 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.

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