Do you really understand how a computer works? After taking this course, you definitely will, because you will build a computer yourself—starting with nothing but individual logic gates, and ending with a fully functional computer that we can program in a high-level language.
Don't worry—you need no VLSI skills and no soldering iron. We will simulate the hardware that we build using a simple hardware description language. It is easy to learn, and you'll be surprised how quickly you'll build a fully functional CPU (and, hopefully, how much fun it is to do so completely from the ground up).
We will need to cover some topics from computer architecture and compilers. You do not need to have taken any of these courses—we will cover everything we need.
Prerequisite: You must know how to program and you should have taken CS206 (Data structures).
The class meets Wednesday from 16:00 to 17:15 and on Friday from 13:00 to 14:15 in classroom #1 (room 1101) in building E3-1. Lectures are given in English.
Students must submit all projects.
The final grade will then be composed as follows (small changes reserved):
Since the course is taken by students ranging from second year undergraduates all the way to Ph.D. students, we will ensure fairness as follows:
Attendance will be taken in nearly every class. If you miss at most 4 lectures, you receive 10 attendance points. For 5 missed lectures, you receive 9 attendance points, and so on. For 14 or more missed lectures you receive no attendance points.
Going to a conference, workshop, doctor, interview, is no excuse for missing the class — you can use the four free missed classes for this.
There will be a midterm and a final exam:
The midterm exam is on October 25 from 16:00 to 18:00 in our usual classroom.
The final exam is on November 24 from 13:00 to 14:25 in our usual classroom.
Here is a rough list of what we will cover in each week of the semester.
|Week 2||Combinational logic|
|Week 3||Sequential logic|
|Week 4||Machine language|
|Week 5||Computer architecture|
|Week 7||Virtual machine I|
|Week 8||Midterm exam|
|Week 9||Virtual machine II|
|Week 10||High level language|
|Week 11||Compiler I|
|Week 12||Compiler II|
|Week 13||Operating System I|
|Week 14||Operating System II|
|Week 16||Final Exam|
This term we will be using Piazza for class announcements, discussion, and asking questions.
Here is our Piazza class page.
You are responsible for checking the announcements on our Piazza class page regularly (if you make a Piazza account and enroll for the course, announcements will be mailed to you automatically.)
If you do not understand something, it is important that you ask questions. Piazza allows you to ask questions and get answers from the instructor, the teaching assistants, and your classmates. You can ask questions anonymously, so don't be shy and ask!
Both Korean and English are acceptable on Piazza :-). You make it easier for me if you write in English, but if the TAs can answer your question, then Korean is just fine.
To ask questions, you need to register on Piazza and enroll as a student. To do so, go to the enrollment page. Select "Join as student". You will then need to use your KAIST email address (ending with @kaist.ac.kr) to create an account.
We follow the book The Elements of Computing Systems by Nisan and Schocken (MIT Press, 2005).
The material covered in the lectures so far:
|08-30||Introduction, Boolean functions, circuits and gates||introduction||code|
|09-01||More circuits and gates||code|
|09-06||Number representation and adders|
|09-08||Latches, Flip-Flops, the clock and sequential circuits|
|09-13||Realistic memory, machine language||real memory|
|No class (business trip)|
|09-27||Review homework #5 & #6, CPU Emulator|
|10-11||Finishing our computer, Subroutines, Stack pointer|
|10-13||Comparing with Atmel atmega8||atmega8 data sheet, instruction set|
|Midterm week: No class, no exam|
|10-25||Midterm exam: 16:00–18:00|
|11-01||No class (business trip)|
|11-03||The virtual machine||slides|
|11-08||The Jack language|
|11-10||Lexical analysis and parsing||code|
|11-15||Hardware multiplication review, compiling Jack to VM code|
|11-17||Translating VM to Hack I||slides|
|11-22||Translating VM to Hack II|
|11-24||Final exam: 13:00–14:25|
|11-29||No class (business trip)|
|12-01||The standard library|
|12-06||No class (KAIST interviews)|
|12-08||No class (business trip)|
There will be many projects in this course, where you build a small part of your computer, or program some part of its software. You will have between one and three weeks to complete each project. All programming projects are submitted using the submission server. The deadline is at midnight on the evening of the deadline day.