EECS 213: Introduction to Computer Systems, Fall, 2018

Instructor:Peter A. Dinda (Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-5, Mudd 3507)
Teaching Assistant: Conor Hetland (Office Hours: Wednesdays, 5-8pm, Wilkinson Lab)
Peer Mentors: Gino Wang (Office Hours: Mondays, 11:00-12:30, Fridays, 10:30-12, Wilkinson Lab)
Nathaniel Tracy-Amoroso (Office Hours: Mondays, 3-4:30, Fridays, 12-1:30, Wilkinson Lab)
Lecture:Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-3:20pm, Tech M345
Discussion:Wednesdays, 4pm, Tech L361

Midterm Review Session: Wednesday, October 31, 4-6pm, Tech L440 (replaces discussion on that day)

EECS 213 is a required core course in the Computer Science curriculum in both McCormick and Weinberg. It is also a required course for CS minors in both schools. 213 can also be taken for credit within the Computer Engineering curriculum.


We will use Canvas to report grades, but for nothing else. For critical announcements, we will send email to the addresses that CAESAR maintains.

For discussion, we will use Piazza: EECS 213 Piazza Site. Directing your questions to Piazza will likely produce the fastest response, and everyone else in the class will also benefit. Piazza is configured to allow anonymous posting.

Accounts, Remote Access, Getting Started with Unix

  • You will have a Linux account on the Wilkinson and TLab machines. Both labs are very convenient for working together. Mostly, though, you'll be using those machines as terminals. You should also be able to use NUIT labs near Tech (i.e., in Mudd.)
  • You will also have a Linux account on private servers we have set up. These accounts will be discussed in class.
  • We recommend you use ssh (remote login) or VNC (remote graphical desktop) to access the class servers. To get started with VNC, ssh into the server and run ~cs213/HANDOUT/ You can also use X11 tunneled over SSH. You may also find tmux to be useful.
  • If you haven't used Linux or Unix before:
  • Introduction to the Linux environment on our server (Peter Dinda) (YouTube)
  • Introduction to Unix (James Whang and Adel Lahlou) (YouTube)
  • Discussion section will include Unix and C review
  • The book's student site (see below) has additional pointers
  • Handouts

  • Syllabus (pdf)

  • Physics To Logic (pdf)
  • Unix Systems Programming In A Nutshell (pdf)
  • Sockets In A Nutshell (pdf)
  • Concurency (pdf)
  • Parallelism (pdf)
  • Programming Assignments

  • Data Lab (pdf) (Out: 9/27, In: 10/16)
  • Bomb Lab (pdf) (Out: 10/16, In: 11/1)
  • Attack Lab (pdf) (Out: 11/1, In: 11/15)
  • SETI Lab (Parallelism Lab) (pdf) (Out: 11/15, In: 12/6)
  • Homework Assignments

  • HW 1: Integer and Floating Point Number Representations (pdf) (Out: 10/2 - solutions now available in HANDOUT directory)
  • HW 2: De-compiling Assembly Code (pdf) (Out: 10/11)
  • HW 3: Memory and Cache (pdf) (Out: 10/27)
  • HW 4: Virtual Memory and I/O (pdf) (Out: 11/20)
  • We will make solution sets for these homeworks available. They will not be graded. Nonetheless, we strongly encourage you to do them in preparation for exams.


  • Midterm: Monday, November 5, 6pm, Lunt 105
    Covers lectures 1-9 and related reading/materials in syllabus
    Midterm Review Session: Wednesday, October 31, 4-6pm, Tech L440 (replaces discussion on that day)
  • Final: Monday, December 10, noon, Tech M345
    Covers lectures 10-20, and related reading/materials in syllabus
    Final Review Session: TBA
  • Resources

  • The Book's Student Site
    Contains many useful FAQs, Primers, etc.
  • Lecture slides, code, videos, and other materials for the CMU version of the class
  • Make Introduction (pdf)
  • Gdb commands (pdf)
  • Gdb manual (html)
  • An amazing online compiler
    This lets you easily see the assembly that results from C/C++ code
  • An amazing online disassembler
    This lets you easily decode object code back to assembly
  • The ELF Format (pdf)
  • Comparison with GAS format and Intel's assembler format (text)
  • The Intel Architecture Manuals and the AMD Architecture Manuals
  • Compare and contrast with the beautiful and much mourned DEC Alpha, and with the very much alive and kicking ARM architecture that powers your phone and tablet
  • Overview of the Linux Kernel (pdf) (This is very old, but still a good intro)
  • Cygwin Unix Emulation Environment for Windows

  • Peter Dinda
    Last modified: Thu Jun 1 17:23:43 CDT 2017