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CSc 314 Syllabus
[^] CSc 314: Computer Organization
CSc 314
Spring, 2015
3 Credits
Computer Organization
Instructor: Tom Bennet
Office: 302 MCC
Phone: 601-925-3815
Email: bennet@mc.edu
Text: The Essentials of Computer Organization and Architecture, by Linda Null and Julia Lobur
Web Page: http://sandbox.mc.edu/~bennet/cs314

Three hours of lecture per week. Computer systems organization; internal organization and operation of digital computers; some systems software. A working knowledge of the C programming language is assumed.

Prerequisites: CSC 216 and CSC 220

This is an anatomy course: the anatomy of a computer system. We will look at each of a computer's major components: the CPU, memory, and peripherals We will look at what these units do, how they are constructed, and how they interact. We will look particularly at the way software interacts with hardware, and how hardware and system software are designed together for good performance. These topics are essential to understand how to make a computer system operate efficiently, and in preparation for the standard course in operating systems.

Instruction will be through lecture, discussion, and the solution of homework programming problems. Projects may include assembler programming, circuit simulation using a GUI, and C simulations of portions of a computer system.

After successfully completing this course, students will be able to describe the major components of a computer system and their relationship. They will understand how a CPU is organized, and how such techniques as pipelining improve the performance of a CPU. They will understand the idea of a memory hierarchy, and be understand particularly its use in memory caches and virtual memory. Students will understand how a CPU communicates with peripheral devices.


The points for this course will be assigned as follows:

Activity Points
Projects/Homework 200
Regular exams (3 @ 100) 300
Comprehensive Final Exam 200


Course grades will be based on the percentage of the total points earned:

Points Percent Grade
630 - 700 90%- 100% A
560 - 629 80%- 89% B
490 - 559 70%- 79% C
420 - 489 60%- 69% D
0 - 419 0%- 59% F

Your actual point totals may vary. Any variance should be small, and grades will be assigned according to the given percentage of the actual point total.

Expect the regular exams around the ends of February, March and April. The comprehensive final exam will be on May. 5, at 8:00 am. The last day to drop this course is Friday, March 20, 2015.


Mississippi College class attendance policies as described on pp. 46 and 47 of the college catalog will be enforced. Absences may be excused for illness or other appropriate cause. Exams missed due to circumstances beyond the student's control may be made up at a mutually agreeable time and place. Adequate documentation of the cause of an absence may be required.

Academic Honesty

Mississippi College regulations regarding the integrity of academic work, policy 2.19 will be enforced. The computer science group has established the following addendum:

In a computer science class individual effort is expected. Student misconduct not only includes cheating on tests, but also extends to copying or collaborating on programming assignments, projects, lab work or research unless otherwise specified by the instructor. Using other people's accounts to do your work or having others do your work is prohibited. Close proximity in lab does not mean collaboration is permitted. NOTE: Discussing logical solutions to problems is acceptable, exchange of code, pseudocode, designs, or procuring solutions from the Web, other texts, the Internet or other resources on or off campus is not acceptable.

First offense: grade of 0 for all parties involved unless the guilty party can be determined. Second offense: grade of F in the course.