General information

The instructor for CSCI 320 is Dean Brock. CSCI 320 is an introduction to computer architecture. In this course we study the components of a modern computer system. Particular attention is given to techniques, such as caches and pipelining, that increase the speed of a computer at little cost.

The prerequisite for CSCI 320 is CSCI 254. In particular, before you enter this course you should now a bit about how the control unit of a computer is implemented down to the gate level.

The course meets on Tuesday and Thursday from 1:40 PM to 2:55 PM in Robinson 217. The textbook for the course is Computer Systems Architecture written by Morris Mano and published by Prentice Hall (ISBN 0-13-175563-3). This book was used in CSCI 254 in the Spring and Fall 93 semesters. In CSCI 320 we will start with the eighth chapter and work toward the end of the text. At various times during the semester, concepts from the course will be illustrated using modern computer architectures, such as the Pentium or Alpha AXP processors. If appropriate, reference materials for these topics will be placed on reserve at the library.

There will be a couple of programming assignments in this course. One will be an assembly language assignment that you will complete on an IBM PC clone. The other program will be a simulation of some computer component. This will be completed using the Unix workstations.

Grades will be based on a combination of graded homework, two in- class exams, and one final exam weighted as follows:

The final exam will be given on Tuesday, May 10, from 1:40 PM to 4:10 PM

My office hours are Tuesday and Thursday 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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