|Instructor(s)||Billingsley, Marty (mbilling)|
|Fulfills||Core Systems Elective|
*Please note: This is the syllabus from the 2021/22 academic year and subject to change.*
This course is all about constructing your own knowledge of computer systems by building a general-purpose computer system from the ground up. The objective is to integrate key ideas from algorithms, computer architecture, operating systems, compilers, and software engineering into one unified framework. Along the way, we'll explore ideas and techniques used in the design of modern hardware and software systems, and discuss major trade-offs and future trends. Throughout this journey, you'll gain lots of cross-section views of the field of computer science, from the bare-bone details of switching circuits to the high-level abstraction of object-based software design. By the end of the course, you will have written a computer game in an object-oriented programming language; compiled that program into machine language using the compiler, the virtual machine language translator, and the assembler that you wrote; and run your program on (virtual) hardware that you designed.
Course Contents and Coursework
Week 1 (chapters 1-2 of the text)
Week 2 (chapter 3 of the text)
Week 3 (chapters 4-5 of the text)
Week 4 (chapter 6 of the text)
Week 5 (chapter 7 of the text)
Week 6 (chapter 8 of the text)
Week 7 (chapter 9 of the text) (chapter 10 of the text)
Week 8 (chapter 10 of the text)
Week 9 (chapters 11-12 of the text)
The Elements of Computing Systems, second edition: Building a Modern Computer from First Principles by Nisan and Schocken
Core Programming (completed or concurrently enrolled)
This is mostly a hands-on course, evolving around building a series of hardware and software modules. You can use any programming language you like to implement the software modules (popular choices are c, c++, java, and python), but you must be comfortable designing, writing, and debugging programs on your own; the guidance given in this course centers around what to program rather than how to program it. This course requires competency in Unix and Linux. Please plan to attend the MPCS Unix Bootcamp (https://masters.cs.uchicago.edu/page/mpcs-unix-bootcamp) or take the online MPCS Unix Bootcamp Course on Canvas.
This class is scheduled at a time that does not conflict with any other classes this quarter.