Computer Systems and Assembly Language


Hollerith Card

line drawing of larrabee



This class studies the basic components of computers and how to control them at a low level. We will study hardware and software components and become more comfortable with each. 



Who, what, and where:



Office: 337A E2 Instructor: Tracy Larrabee 

    • Phone: X9-3476
    • Office hours: Wednesday 2:30-3:30pm
  • Required reading:
    • Introduction to Computer Systems, Second Edition by Patt and Patel,
      which has a very useful website.
    • Webforum: We will be using the forum link to the left of this page.
  • Class meetings
    • lecture location: Baskin 152
    • lecture time: T Th 2:00-3:45


  • Teaching Assistants and tutors for each section:
  • There may be a lab fee. Check here
  • Final Exam time: Thursday June 12 12:00 noon

Make sure you keep up with the weekly Lab Assignments.

Be sure to download the simulator

The way the class works

There is a homework set each week, but it is graded very loosly.  Solutions will be posted, and there will be a quiz every week. The problems from the homework will prepare you for the quiz.  No makeup quizzes will be given.  Sure, everyone will miss a class or two, but you will have to hope that you don't miss enough to drag you down too much. No makeup quizzes will be allowed, but you get to drop the three lowest quiz scores (if you have a serious issue, we can talk, but make sure you have that it really is a serious issue and that you have any needed documentation. There will be one lab assignment a week: see your lab tutor and TA for more information. You will need to have passing quizzes, lab assignments, and final exam to pass the course. For those opting for a letter grade: the quizzes will count 30% of your grade, the labs 20%, and the final 40%, and homework and class participation (especially on the webforum) count for 10%.  If you are one of the rare people who passed the lab during a previous quarter, your quizzes will count for 40% of your grade, your final will count for 50% of your grade, and homework and class participation will be the last 10%.

Please feel free to tell either the professor or the TAs about any comments or suggestions you might have about how to improve the class. The best way to do this is by electronic mail.

I hate to talk about cheating, because I like to assume there will be none, but regulations say I must: If the TAs or I find conclusive evidence that you have cheated on a quiz, lab, or exam, you receive a zero on that quiz, lab, or exam and a notice will be sent to your provost. Please note that the TAs run an automated code comparator and they will find it if you copy code from each other or from previous year's assignments.




Instructors and Assistants