CSCI 4720: Computer Architecture and Organization

Spring Semester 2011


INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Thiab R. Taha, e-mail:

OFFICE: Boyd Graduate Studies Research Center, Room 545

OFFICE HOURS: T, Th 1:00 - 1:50 PM, GSRC 545


LECTURES: 03M/72 T, TH, GSRC Room 306


  1. Computer Abstractions and Technology.
  2. Instructions: Language of the computer.
  3. Arithmetic for Computers.
  4. The Processor.
  5. Large and Fast: Exploiting Memory Hierarchy
  6. Storage and Other I/O Topics.
  7. Muticores, Multiprocessors, and Clusters.

COURSE OBJECTIVES OR EXPECTED LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students will learn how modern computing systems are designed, including principles of logic design, simulation, and test. Study of subsystem structure will include input/output, memory, and communications. Instruction set architecture and assembly language programming will be presented.

TEXT: Computer Organization and Design: the Hardware/Software Interface. 4rd. Edition by Patterson and Hennessy, 2009.

The course will cover essentially Chapters 1-7 and the Appendices B, C and D from the text book; Also, the following software packages will be used: XSPIM and GSIM.

Will be assigned to help you understand the material. Homework will be collected in lectures.


  • Hour Exams, in class (2) 50%
  • Final Exam 20%
  • Homework 30%

    MAKE UP TESTS: No make up exams.

    Unexcused test absences result in a score of zero for the missing test. Excused absences require extenuating circumstances and advance notice; the missing grade will be replaced by the Other Exam Grade.

    Note: The course syllabus provides a general plan for the course; deviations may be necessary. Academic Honesty: The Department Policy applies(see next page).