EECS 213: Introduction to Computer Systems, Spring, 2015

Instructor:Peter A. Dinda (Office Hours: Thursdays, 9-11am or by appointment, Tech L463)
Teaching Assistants: Kaicheng Zhang (Office Hours: Wednesdays 2-5pm or by appointment, Tech L476)
James Whang (Office Hours: Tuesdays 5-8pm or by appointment, Wilkinson Lab)
Adel Lahlou (Office Hours: Mondays, 3:30-6:30pm or by appointment, Wilkinson Lab)
Lecture Time:Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-3:20pm
Lecture Location:Tech M345
Recitation Time:Fridays, 3-5pm
Recitation Location:Frances Searle 2407 (Except 6/12, which is in Tech L440)
Enrollment Limit:70

The class enrollment is limited to 70 students. There are currently 64 enrolled. The high water mark was 73 with 28 on the waiting list.

Due to limited resources, this course will not get any larger. If/when students currently in the course drop, we will let in students from the waiting list with priority for CS majors and minors. Additionally, homework has been cut. We are still determining whether the 4th lab will be feasible.

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

For discussions this quarter, 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.

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.
  • You will also have a Linux account on a private server 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) (mov)
  • The first recitation will be an introduction to Unix
  • Introduction to Unix (Quite Old) (Peter Dinda) (Real, Part 1, Real, Part 2 - use your netid and password to access these)
  • Prof. Bustamante's List of C and Unix Resources
  • Handouts

  • Syllabus (pdf)

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

  • Data Lab (pdf) (Out: 3/31, In: 4/17)
  • Bomb Lab (pdf) (Out: 4/16, In: 5/5)
  • Buffer Lab (pdf) (Out: 5/5, In: 5/19)
  • SETI Lab (or Parallelism Lab) (pdf) (out: 5/19, In: 6/4)
  • Homework Assignments

    Due to the lack of resources, homework assignments have been eliminated for this instance of the course.


  • Midterm: Wednesday, May 6, 6pm
    Covers lectures 1-9 and related reading/materials in syllabus
  • Final: Friday, June 12, 9am, Tech M345
    Covers lectures 10-20, and related reading/materials in syllabus
  • Lecture-related pointers

  • My Lecture Slides
    I am not using slides all that much. Nonetheless, the lectures for which I have used slides will appear below. You may also find the CMU lecture slides (see below) to be useful.
  • General lecture slides for the CMU version of the class
  • Java applets showing how gates are built from CMOS transistors
  • Java simulators of logic and more complex circuits
  • Resources

  • The Book's Student Site
    Contains many useful FAQs, Primers, etc.
  • The Book's Code
  • Make Introduction (pdf)
  • Gdb commands (pdf)
  • Gdb manual (html)
  • An amazing online disassembler
  • The ELF Format (pdf)
  • Comparison with GAS format and Intel's assembler format (text)
  • The Intel Architecture Manuals and the AMD Architecture Manuals
  • Gentle introduction to 64 bit x86 assembly (alternate link)
  • 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
  • Wilson, P., et al, Dynamic Storage Allocation: A Survey and Critical Review, International Workshop on Memory Managment, September, 1995. (pdf)

  • Peter Dinda
    Last modified: Fri Jun 5 11:48:02 CDT 2015