General information

The instructor for CSCI 320 is Dean Brock. CSCI 320 is a study of the architecture of moderm computers. 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, you should now a bit about how the control unit of a computer is implemented down to the gate level before attempting this course.

CSCI 320 meets on Tuesday and Thursday from 4:30 PM to 5:45 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 has been used in CSCI 254 since the Spring 93 semester. In CSCI 320 we will start with the eighth chapter and work toward the end of the text. At various time during the semester, concepts from the course will be illustrated using modern computer architectures, such as the Pentium, Power PC, or Alpha AXP processors. If appropriate, reference materials for these topics will be placed on reserve at the library.

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 9, from 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM

My office hours are Monday through Thursday from 1:30 PM to 2:30 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 320 are available via the internet at Copies of all handouts, including exams, for the Spring 94 offering of CSCI 320 are available at

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