Stephen A. Edwards Columbia University Crown
  CSEE W3827
Fundamentals of Computer Systems
Fall 2011


Class meets 10:35 - 11:50 AM Tuesdays and Thursdays in 633 Mudd.


Name Email Office Hours
Prof. Stephen A. Edwards M 3-4, Th 2-3, 462 CSB
Yoonji Shin Thursdays 5:30 - 7:30, TA Room, Mudd
Ravi Netravali Tuesdays 2:30 - 4:30, TA Room, Mudd
Gouri Dongaonkar Wednesdays 4:15 - 6:15, TA Room, Mudd


This course examines how the 1s and 0s that form the foundation of digital computing are organized, structured, and manipulated to produce full-fledged computer systems. In bridging this gap, the course will cover many subjects beginning with binary logic, combinatorial and sequential circuit design, memory structures, instruction set architectures, and, ultimately, basic processor design.


An introductory programming course, such as COMS 1004 or 1007. You need to understand the basics of imperative, sequential programming to understand the assembly language programming we will discuss.


Date Lecture Notes Reading Due
Sep 6 Representing Numbers pdf 1.4
Sep 8 Boolean Logic pdf 1.5,2.1–2.7
Sep 13 "
Sep 15 Combinational Logic pdf 2.8,2.9,5.2
Sep 20 " HW1 pdf
Solutions pdf
Sep 22 Sequential Logic pdf 3.1–3.3,3.5
Sep 27 "
Sep 29 Finite State Machines pdf 3.4 HW2 pdf
Solutions pdf
Oct 4 Transistors, Gates, and ICs pdf 1.7
Oct 6 Memory Elements pdf 5.5
Oct 11 "
Oct 13 Datapath and Control pdf
Oct 18 " HW3 pdf
Solutions pdf
Oct 20 Midterm Review pdf
Oct 25 Midterm Exam
Oct 27 The MIPS Instruction Set pdf 6.1–6.7
Nov 1 "
Nov 3 "
Nov 8 Election Day Holiday
Nov 10 "
Nov 15 MIPS Microarchitecture pdf 7.1–7.3
Nov 17 A Multicycle MIPS Processor pdf 7.4 HW4 .tar.gz archive
Solutions pdf
Nov 22 Pipelining MIPS pdf 7.5
Nov 24–25 Thanksgiving Holiday
Nov 29 " HW5 pdf
Solutions pdf
Dec 1 Caches pdf
Dec 6 " HW6 pdf
Solutions pdf
Dec 8 Final Review pdf
Dec 20 Final Exam 9–12

Required Text

David Harris and Sarah Harris.
Digital Design and Computer Architecture.
Morgan-Kaufmann, 2007.

A perfect fit for our class, half of this book is devoted to classical digital logic design; the other half to processor architecture centered on the practical, but teachable, MIPS processor.

Cover of Digital Design and Computer Architecture



40% Homeworks
30% Midterm
30% Final

Academic Honesty Policy

You may discuss homework problems with your classmates, but you must write up your solution independently and understand it. Students turning in copied homeworks will be referred to the dean. See the Columbia CS department academic policies for more details.


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