Computer Organization and Architecture

CSC 211
Grinnell College
Fall 2013F
Class meetings: MWF 8:00 - 8:50, SCI 3819
Labs:  T 9:00 - 9:50 (section 01), T 1:15 - 2:05 (section 02), SCI 3818
Instructor: Janet Davis (contacting me)


About this course

Welcome to the fall 2013 session of CSC 211, Computer Organization and Architecture! This course addresses questions such as the following:

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

I have only taught this course once before, 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. Moreover, programming in assembly is challenging---it will stretch your mind and deepen your appreciation of higher-level programming languages. Finally, understanding how computer hardware is structured can help you write more efficient programs in higher-level 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 Systems requirement of the Computer Science major and is recommended for all CS students.

Janet Davis (

Created August 22, 2011
Last revised August 25, 2013