CSC 2600
Computer Organization
A required course in the CS major in the FSU BS program
Fall 2013 -- 4 credit hours

CSC2600-0111:00AM-12:15PMWed, Fri: Sep 6-Dec 11 Edgerley 207
Required Lab2:00PM-3:50PMFri: Sep 6-Dec 6 Edgerley 207

Contact Information

Instructor:Stephen Taylor
Office: Edgerly 312A
Office hours: Wed 2:00-4:30PM (and by appointment)
Web page:
Office phone: 978-665-3704
Home phone: 508-867-9288

Course Description: (From the catalog) The purpose of this course is to provide a thorough discussion of the fundamentals of computer organization and architecture and to relate these to contemporary computer design issues. After a brief review of the basic digital components used, the steps that a designer would go through in the design of an elementary system are covered followed by a discussion of the organization and design of the central processing unit (CPU) and various control system implementations. The input/output and memory subsystems are included as is a brief discussion of multiprocessing systems, pipelining and virtual memory. Students registering for this course must also register for the accompanying lab course.

Course goals

The purpose of this course is to develop students' understanding of tradeoffs involved in the organization, implementation and operation of a typical digital computer. Upon completion of the course, a student should understand the following:

Course Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, a student will have demonstrated knowledge of:

Attendance policy

There are two class meetings and a lab each week. I expect you to attend them all.

This is partly a lab course. You can't do the labs if you aren't in the lab. I don't take attendence, but my grading reflects my expectation of seeing you regularly:

Quizzes and exams are ordinarily due in the period in which they are given, and may not be turned in later, although they may be excused if you have a convincing story, such as your grandmother getting married in Provincetown.

Labs are due on the day on which they are assigned, but not necessarily in class. Anything turned in by midnight is on time, and unless I am actually in my office at midnight, anything I find in my box on the following morning is assumed to have been turned in on time.

Papers and programming assignments are similarly due by midnight. Late papers and programs may be accepted after their due date, but I am likely to mark them down for lateness.

Course resources

Text: The required textbook for this course is:
David Harris and Sarah Harris, Morgan Kaufman Publishers
This book is now in its second edition, but the first edition is available used on the web. The first edition should be perfectly adequate. I usually buy used textbooks from but Amazon and Ebay also carry used books. m time to time I will put programs from lectures on the web.

I usually record grades in blackboard.

Reading and Lab Project Schedule:

Final Exam

There is a final exam, and two or three mid-term exams, all of which are in very similar formats, although of course they cover different material.



Tentative grade rubric:

  1. There will be lab sessions throughout the term. You are expected to attend If you have a conflict with a scheduled lab session, talk to the instructor as soon as possible. Progress reports will be accepted at the end of each lab session. These are graded pass/fail, and will make up 10% of the final grade.
  2. There will be several pop quizes, making up in total 10% of the final grade.
  3. There will be several programming projects, making up 50% of the final grade.
  4. There will be a final exam and two midterms, which will make up 30% of the final grade

Late work

Deadlines are made to be bent, but exceptions create extra work for me. Assignments are due at the beginning of class. Work received after 12:35 PM is late. I may give credit or partial credit for late work, but you should talk to me as soon as you know it will be late. I will always give at least partial credit for partial work, so turning in something incomplete but on time is a sensible strategy.

I do not consider homework which is emailed to me to be turned in on time, no matter when you sent it. Instead use the Blackboard dropbox.

There are no makeup or early exams, but I may excuse an exam for a good story, presented in advance, like your grandmother getting married that day in Provincetown.

Each student is responsible for completing all course requirements and for keeping up with all activities of the course (whether a student is present or not).

Academic Honesty

I expect you to be so interested in your projects and homeworks that you discuss them with everyone, including your mom, your little brother, and other members of the class (who will at least know what they're being sympathetic about.) So I won't be too surprised if several people come up with the same idea, or even the same programming trick. But I want you to do each homework yourself, and I don't want you to share typing, even if you both worked on the problem together, and you can't really tell anymore who came up with what. (Except of course for group projects, for which the group will be designated in advance.) To keep from confusing me, you should mention everyone you talked to and every web site you looked at in your development diary. You can only skip mentioning your little brother, if you think he wasn't any help at all...

I consider it plagiarism to share typing or fail to give credit to other peoples' ideas.

Fitchburg State College has an Academic Dishonesty policy, which can be found in the college catalog. Penalties for academic dishonesty, including submitting work which is not your own, and assisting other students on examinations, can be severe.


If you require course adaptations or accommodation because of a disability or acute medical condition or if you require assistance in the event of an emergency evacuation of the classroom, please see the instructor as soon as possible. Students with disabilities are encouraged to register with the Office of Disability Services on the 3rd floor of the Hammond Building.