CSc 314 Syllabus
CSc 314
Spring, 2021
Computer Organization
3 Credits
Instructor:Tom Bennet
Office:302 MCC
Text:The Essentials of Computer Organization and Architecture, by Linda Null and Julia Lobur
Web Page:

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 and 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.


Points in this course will be assigned as shown below. Final grades will be based on the percentage of points earned.
Regular exams (3 @ 100)300
Comprehensive Final Exam200

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.

Exams will be according to the schedule, which may change a bit during the semester. The final exam will be on Saturday, May 1 at 12:00.

The last day to drop this course is Friday, March 26, 2021.


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.

Covid 19

The college is taking a number of precautions due to the Coronavirus 19 outbreak. You must comply with the various MC policies, including masking and staying off campus if you are not healthy. If you are unable to attend, please let me know so I can make a recording of the lecture. Classes will use assigned to seating to insure distancing and aid contact tracing if needed.

Because of the need to sit separately, the classroom cannot accommodate the entire class at once. The class will be divided into multiple groups who will attend lecture on different days. You will be assigned to a group and instructed which days you should attend.

I like you all fine, but don't just drop by my office. If you need help, call or send email. Perhaps I can answer you the same way, or we can teleconference, or arrange something else. I am happy to talk to you, it's just complicated these days.

Academic Honesty

Mississippi College regulations regarding the integrity of academic work 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.