CS 3410

Computer System Organization and Programming

Instructor: Kavita Bala

Cornell University Computer Science Department, Fall '08


CS 3410 covers basic computer organization and systems programming. We will cover computer design, instruction sets, computer arithmetic, datapath design, GPU architectures, data formats, addressing modes, memory hierarchies including caches and virtual memory, I/O devices, and bus-based I/O systems. The projects will cover systems programming. The course is open to any undergraduate who has mastered the material in CS 211.


  • Dec 9: PA4 updated with the required analysis.
  • Dec 8: Stating tomorrow there will be a revised office hours schedule.  The locations will be the same for each member of the staff but the schedule will be changed to:
    T         Saikat         7:30- 9:30PM
    W         Adam           4:00- 6:00PM   
    R         Steve          8:00-10:00PM
    F         Santosh        2:00- 4:00PM
    S         Rob           12:00- 2:00PM
              Jimmy          4:00- 5:00PM
    S         Jimmy          4:00- 5:00PM
              Saikat         7:00- 9:00PM
    M         Steve         11:00- 1:00PM
              Adam           2:00- 4:00PM         
  • Dec 2: PA4, the final project, posted.
  • Dec 2: The review session for Prelim 2 will be Wednesday December 3rd at 6:30 in Rhodes 551.
  • Nov 24: Updates posted to the PA3 FAQ.
  • Nov 15: PA3 posted.
  • Nov 09: For those who need to resubmit HW3, part of the automated grading script and the solution's output for that script have been placed at /courses/cs3410/hw3_autograde on the CSUG machines.  Copy the directory to your home directory and view the README file for instructions on using the script.
  • Nov 09: The specific goals of HW4 have been clarified in the FAQ.
  • Nov 09: Many students are getting a "command not found" error.  Solution in the HW4 FAQ.
  • Nov 06: HW4 posted.
  • Nov 01: Updates to HW3 FAQ.
  • Oct 28: HW3 posted.
  • Oct 23: Today's prelim will be held in Hollister 110.
  • Oct 20: 2007 Prelim released.  Available in CMS under Prelim Exam 1 assignment.  Note: Question 5(b) is missing since it concerns the answers to part of PA2.  The answer to 5(b) will be discussed in lecture on Thursday along with a overall review of PA2.
  • Oct 20: Updates to PA2 FAQ.  Some further annoucements: Rob will handle Saikat's office hours in the CSUG lab at the regular time 6:00-7:00pm.  Sections this week will be question and answer sessions on PA2 and the prelim.  Finally, after the prelim, Friday's section is cancelled but starting next week new section material on C and Unix will be introduced.
  • Oct 18: The specifics about how to connect the memory component in PA2 are added to the FAQ.
  • Oct 9: PA2 posted.
  • Oct 7: There are a few changes in office hours:
    • Steve will hold additional office hours today from 11:00-12:00 in CSUG.
    • Today Adam will hold Saikat's office hours in Rhodes 594 and Saikat will hold Adam's tomorrow in Upson 331.
    • There will be no office hours during the Monday and Tuesday of fall break.
  • Oct 1: HW2 due date changed to Wednesday October 15th at noon.
  • Sept 30: HW2 updated.  Typo fixed in problem 1(c): 581 changed to 561.
  • Sept 29: HW2 posted.
  • Sept 18: PA1 posted.
  • Sept 12: Updates made to the HW1 FAQ.
  • Sept 5:  HW1 is posted.
  • Sept 3:  There will be no office hours this week.  Office hours will begin next week.
  • Sept 3:  If you are having trouble finding a partner, please post a message listing your contact information to the temporary course newsgroup: cornell.class.cs316.  If you need information about reading Cornell newsgroups, see this page.  Of course, throughout the semester, you may also feel free to post questions and hold discussions on the newsgroup on any relevant course topic.  At some point the newsgroup will be updated to reflect the current course number, rather than the outdated one.   We will notify you when it changes.
  • Sept 2:  Posted the lecture notes for this weeks section: Introduction to Logisim. [2 per page][6 per page]
  • Sept 2:  NVidia will be holding a recruiting visit on campus next Wednesday, Sept. 10th from 4:30 to 6:00pm.   See the flyer for more information.
  • Sept 2:  Logisim link added to main page.
  • Sept 2:  Course staff mailing list is up and running.  Please direct all course questions and requests to: cs3410-staff-l {at} cs {dot} cornell {dot} edu
  • Sept 1: Office hours posted.  Partner finding assignment added to CMS.


  • CS 3410 Intro to Computer System Organization & Programming
  • Instructor: Kavita Bala
    • Office: 5142 Upson Hall
    • Office Hours: M 2:00pm - 3:00pm
  • Teaching Assistants:
    • Adam Arbree
      • Office: 594 Rhodes Hall
      • Office Hours: W 4:00pm - 5:00pm
    • Saikat Guha
      • Office: 331 Upson Hall
        (call 5-1008 from phone outside)
      • Office Hours: T 8:30pm - 9:30pm
    • Santhosh Selvaraj
      • Office: 328 Bay C
      • Office Hours: W 5:00pm - 6:00pm
  • Undergraduate Consultants:
    • Stephen Milhone
      • Office: CSUG Lab
      • Office Hours: R 11:00am - 12:00pm
    • Robert Ochshorn
      • Office: CSUG Lab
      • Office Hours: F 1:00 pm - 2:00pm
    • Jimmy Qian
      • Office: CSUG Lab
      • Office Hours: M 5:15 pm - 6:15pm
  • Administrative Assistant: Kelly Patwell
    • Office: 5147 Upson Hall



David Patterson, John Hennessy
Computer Organization and Design

Get the revised printing from summer 2007.