Computer Organization and Architecture

CSC 211
Grinnell College
Fall 2011F
Lecture: MWF 8:00 - 8:50, SCI 3819
Labs:  M 1:15 - 2:05 (03), M 2:15 - 3:05 (01), M 3:15 - 4:05 (02), SCI 3818
Instructor: Janet Davis (contacting me)
Mentor: Andy Hirakawa (Mentor hours: MTh 8-9 p.m., SCI 3818/9)


About this course

Welcome to the fall 2011 session of CSC 211, Computer Organization and Architecture! This course addresses the question: How does a computer actually work inside?  Some questions I get excited about:

By the end of this class, you should be able to

I last studied computer architecture in college, so there is still plenty for me to learn. I see my role in this course as not "expert" but "senior learner." I hope to guide you through learning from the textbook, the lab exercises, and each other.

Is this course for me?


Seriously, you will find this course invaluable if you plan to go on to work or advanced study in computer science or computer engineering, or if you just want to understand how a computer really works at the lowest level. Plus, programming in assembly is challenging---it will stretch your mind and deepen your appreciation of higher-level programming languages.

I assume you passed CSC 161 with a grade of C or better and are able to program in C. CSC 211 fulfills the Computer Systems requirement and is recommended for all CS majors.

Janet Davis (

Created August 22, 2011
Last revised September 15, 2011