Course Time: 3a (MW 11:10am – 12:20pm, F 12:00pm – 1:00pm), these times will be for drop-in office hours and questions about course material on Slack rather than essential content
Office Hours: by appointment---sign up for an open slot or send me an email to set up another time
Course Staff: Oliver Calder,
caldero (sign up for appointment slots!)
Course Texts: Bryant and O'Hallaron, Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective (CSPP), 3rd edition (required) errata
It is important that you have the 3rd edition of the Bryant and O'Hallaron book, as it contains significant updates from prior editions. There will be assigned readings and practice problems from the CSPP book.
Kernighan and Ritchie, The C Programming Language, 2nd Edition (optional)
I recommend a good reference on the C programming language. There are many online resources of various quality. The suggested K&R book is a classic for good reason.
Announcements will be made via Moodle, so watch for those emails.
Programming Environment: This course will include work in C and x86-64 assembly. No prior experience with these languages is expected. Some lab assignments will need to be completed on a Linux machine with gcc and potentially other standard tools installed. There are two main options for this: work on a CS department server or on your local computer. Working on your local computer has two major advantages: (1) it does not depend on a continuous internet connection and (2) you have more flexibility to use the editor and environment of your choice. I also encourage you to work locally because the CS server risks getting overloaded if everyone is working there simultaneously.
If your computer is Mac or Windows, you will need to set up a separate Linux environment. On Windows 10, this is pretty easy, thanks to the Windows Subsystem for Linux. Follow this guide to set it up. On Mac and earlier versions of Windows, you will need to run a Linux virtual machine (VM). You can find instructions for the official CS VM on the Carleton wiki. The CS VM is quite large (11GB download, ~30 GB expanded, courtesy of lots of useful pre-installed stuff). If that's a problem for you, consider using the much smaller Xubuntu VM from osboxes.org. Like the CS VM, you will want the free VirtualBox to run the VM. If you run into any problems, please post questions to the Moodle forum or Slack.
If you do decide to work remotely on a CS server, this course will use mantis.mathcs.carleton.edu.
This is a brand new Linux server running Ubuntu 18 that we should have mostly to ourselves.
You can access it via
ssh or via JupyterHub at https://mantis.mathcs.carleton.edu:9595/.
makeand writing Makefiles
Are you curious what's really going on when a computer runs your code? In this course we will demystify the machine and the tools that we use to program it. Our broad survey of how computer systems execute programs, store information, and communicate will focus on the hardware/software interface, including data representation, instruction set architecture, the C programming language, memory management, and the operating system process model.By the end of this course, you should be able to:
Late Policy: Deadlines will be given with each assignment. These deadlines are strict. There will be no credit for late work. For the entire term, you have four late days. You are advised to use them conservatively. They must be used in 24-hour (integer) chunks. One or more late days can be activated on an assignment by emailing me before the assignment is due. There is no penalty whatsoever associated with using a late day. This policy may not be the same as in your other classes. You are responsible for understanding it if you choose to submit late work.
A note on inclusivity:
please treat your classmates with kindness and respect, both inside the classroom and out. Classrooms can be vulnerable environments; asking questions and expanding our understanding of new concepts requires us to reveal over and over again that we don't fully know something. It's okay to not know everything immediately! It's not okay to make people feel bad about what they don't know. This can happen even in subtle ways - see this page for a few ideas on how to help create a friendly learning environment. Our individual differences enrich and enhance our understanding of one another and of the world around us. This class welcomes the perspectives of all ethnicities, genders, religions, ages, sexual orientations, disabilities, socioeconomic backgrounds, regions, and nationalities.
Academic Honesty and Collaboration:
Any work submitted with your name on it must be your work. (Not precisely about academic honesty, but still good guidance: receive your partner’s ideas as enthusiastically as possible, even if they may not initially seem like the obvious choice to you.) You are required to completely understand any solution that you submit, and, in case of any doubt, you must be prepared to explain your solution to me. If you have submitted a solution that you cannot explain to me, then you have violated this policy.
You may consult with other students to get help.
You may not copy (either electronically or through transcription) other people’s work.
It is of course appropriate for some ideas to be transmitted through “consulting-type” help,
but code generally shouldn’t be word-for-word identical; plagiarism will not be tolerated in this class.
You should never be in possession of a (paper or electronic) copy of a classmate’s code before the due date for the assignment.
(Sharing code after the deadline is fine.)
Another way to articulate this: when getting help, that consultation should be in English and not in code.
You may refer to online manuals documenting C or assembly functions or perform Google searches to find the syntax for a particular language feature;
you should include a comment at the relevant point in your program explaining the source you used (typically including the URL).
You may bounce ideas off of classmates; if those conversations lead to insights, then you should cite your classmate.
(This sharing and attribution of ideas is an example of a thriving course community!)
Use your judgment and common sense to decide whether consultation with a classmate was sufficiently substantive that citation of your
classmate is warranted.
You should mention significant consultation with lab assistants (by name if possible!).
Any amount of help that caused you to revise your program should be cited.
Again: use common sense.
It is never acceptable to submit a program that you have found elsewhere (via Google, a book, a friend currently/previously in this class, etc.).
Changing variable names, altering indentation, and adding comments do not change the fact that such a program was not written by you.
If you are ever unclear about how to represent what work you
have done, (a) ask and (b) describe clearly what you have
Carleton College is committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students. The Disability Services office (Henry House, 107 Union Street) is the campus office that collaborates with students who have disabilities to provide and/or arrange reasonable accommodations. If you have, or think you may have, a disability (e.g., mental health, attentional, learning, autism spectrum disorders, chronic health, traumatic brain injury and concussions, vision, hearing, mobility, or speech impairments), please contact email@example.com or call Jan Foley, Student Accessibility Specialist (x4464) or Chris Dallager, Director of Disability Services (x5250) to arrange a confidential discussion regarding equitable access and reasonable accommodations.