Textbook and Recommended Readings

The text book for this course is Computer Organization & Design: The Hardware / Software Interface by Patterson and Hennessy. The optional reference for this course is MIPS RISC Architecture, by Kane and Heinrich, and the paper SPIM S20: A MIPS R2000 Simulator by J Larus will serve both as a quick reference for the instruction set and as a manual for using the xspim emulator.

Office Hours

My office is in AP&M 5141, and my office hours are Tuesdays and Wednesday 1:30pm-2:30pm (this may change later in the quarter). You can make appointments for other times. You should feel free to stop by at other times as well, but I may ask you to come back at another time if I'm busy.

The TA for the course is Stephane Belmon. Stephane's office hours are 9am-10am Mondays and Wednesdays in AP&M 3337A. There are 5 tutors for the course as well. Their names and lab hours are:

Seang Chau MW 2-3p
Kevin Berggren Tu 6-8p
Bevan Schroeder Tu 8-10p
David Beattie Th 8-10p
Michael Chen F 12-2p
Note that David Beattie will be out of town the 16th and 23rd.


This course will have around 6 homework assignments; some of these may be larger projects; they will mostly be done on-line. There will be an in-class midterm and a final.

Grading will be based on the following percentages:

Homework 30%
Midterm 30%
Final 40%
Grade cut-offs will be determined from ``natural'' breaks in the score distribution rather than straight percentage cut-offs or simple curving. If all of you learn the material, I will be happy to give everyone an ``A''; conversely, if none of you learn the material, I will be (less) happy to give everyone an ``F''.

As I said in class, comments will in general count for 40% of a programming assignment's grade. Comments are very important because they are how you communicate with the next programmer who has to pick up your code; if your program is not understandable, it may have to be rewritten from scratch. Real-life products have had portions thrown away and rewritten because of such problems.

You should be using the URL to reach the class Webnotes page. If that server is down, you may also try using (Use the latter only if the former is down; is my desktop workstation; the web pages archived there are not necessarily up-to-date.)

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