CS-3432 Computer Architecture I

Course Info and Lab Notes

TA office hours:
  • TAs will be present in CCSB 3.1202 for the first 10 minutes of their office hours.
  • If nobody is present or expected, they will leave.
  • If you need to meet a TA at another time, send them email.
TA ScheduleDavid Pruitt Eddie Dragone Edward Hudgins
Arch lab        TR 6:00

TR 1:30 TR 1:30
Office hours
F 10:00 - 11:00R 3:00 - 4:00 F 9:00-10:00 or by appointment

  • Join the course email listserv: http://tinyurl.com/2015-fall-arch1
  • Course Outline: topic sequence including lecture notes
  • Prerequisites
    • To succeed in this course, you need to have analytic maturity with concepts taught in digital design (EE2369/2169), elementary data structures and algorithms (CS2401), and discrete math (Math 2300).  
    • As stipulated in the course catalog, the usual way to demonstrating this maturity is by earning a C in (1) all of these courses and (2) Data Structures (CS2302).  
    • I'll waive the perquisite requirement for CS2302 for students who  earn at least B’s in EE 2369/2169, CS 2401, and Math 2300.  
  • Labs
    • Students must enroll in a lab section (typically meets MW or TR)
    • Lab sessions and assignments managed by TA
    • There may be scheduled or unscheduled quizzes in lab course
    • Assignments and due dates: Click on Lab Assignments navigation tab.
  • Texts
    • Absolutely required: Kerningham, Brian W & Ritchie, Dennis M. "The C Programming Language, Second edition," Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-115817-1.
    • MSPGCC cross-tools manual (55 pages): pdf, web
    • Recommended by students (and by no way required): Android app "Programmer Mental Math" by Joel Jurix.  
  • Syllabus
  • Attendance
    • Mandatory at all  all sessions of lecture & lab course unless special circumstances arranged ahead of time with instructor

Homework, tests, and labs

  • Homework
    • Students are expected to review techniques taught in class and be able to demonstrate those skills during the next class session.  Example problems with solutions are published on the course web site.  
  • Exams/quizzes:
    • Quizzes
      • Quizzes assess individual students' abilities to demonstrate knowledge, to design solutions to realistic problems, and to present these solutions in a clear and professional fashion.  Quizzes will be graded "by skill" (see below),  can cover any concept or skill previously taught in the course, are generally offered at the rate of once per week, and unannounced (so students must be continuously prepared).  
    • Final Exam
      • The final exam date is scheduled by the university based upon lecture time.  Like quizzes, the final exam will be graded "by skill" (see below) and can cover any concept or skill previously taught in the course.  
    • Rules
      • reference information listing instructions and addressing modes will be provided to students
      • answers must be prepared individually without communication with or assistance from anybody except the instructor or proctor.  
    • Grading by skill
  • Labs 
    • Intention:
      • Labs provide an opportunity for students to practice and explore concepts presented in class.
      • Students are expected to act professionally 
        • By helping each other select and design problem-solving approaches
        • By reading whatever resources they find relevant
        • By attributing credit to any person or reference materials that substantively contributed to their solutions  
        • By only submitting solutions they fully understand.
        • Professionalism includes honesty, clarity, and accuracy.
    • Types:
      • Most class sessions will conclude with an assignment due at the beginning of the next class session unless otherwise indicated.  I don't collect assignments unless specifically indicated.  
      • Labs will be assigned during the lab course.  Due in 1 week unless otherwise indicated.
    • Rules
      • Students must only submit solutions that fairly reflect their own understandings.     
      • Solutions must clearly and fairly attribute credit to  people and resources that contributed to their design or preparation.  
      • Descriptive text included with solutions must be composed by the student submitting it.  
    • Implications
      • It is academic dishonesty for a student to submit a solution they cannot replicate individually or to not fairly credit their sources.
    • More notes on exams and grading 


    • Students should read chapters 1-6 of K&R (Kernigham & Ritchie's "The C Programming Language"  each of the first 6 weeks of class.  
    • Rationale: These chapters of K&R introduce concepts in the context of C that the course examines at a lower level.


Disabilities and Accomodations

  • If you have a disability and need classroom accommodations, please contact The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) at 747-5148, or by email to cass@utep.edu, or visit their office located in UTEP Union East, Room 106. For additional information, please visit the CASS website at www.sa.utep.edu/cass.
  • Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and courteous manner, as prescribed by the Standards of Conduct: http://hoop.utep.edu/Student_Affairs_Chapter_One-HOP.htm Graded work should be unmistakably your own. You may not transcribe or copy a solution taken from another person, book, or other source ( e.g., a web page). Copying other's work will not be tolerated. Professors are required to report academic dishonesty and any other violation of the Standards of Conduct to the Dean of Students

Academic Honesty

    • Permitted collaboration: Students may discuss requirements, background information, test sets, solution strategies, and the output of their programs. However, implementations and documentation must be their own creative work.   Students are required to document advice received from others and all resources utilized in the preparation of their assignments
      • All solutions to homework and lab assignments should clearly include the following phrase: “This assignment was prepared in a manner consistent with the instructor’s requirements. All significant collaboration or guidance from external sources is clearly documented
      • It is not OK to submit verbatim or paraphrased copies others’ solutions.
    • If academic dishonesty is suspected: The student conduct office will be contacted for adjudication. A temporary "incomplete" grade will be issued if their investigation extends beyond the grading period,  


It is permissiable to examine and prepare a description of a solution discovered by someone else provided that 
  • The “author” receiving credit has personally created submitted embodiment of a solution and analyzed their it for correctness 
  • The grader is provided sufficient guidance to understand aspects of the solutions attributable to others. 
Appropriate collaboration is much like appropriate citation of external sources. You must indicate that your collaboration was consistent with the assignment’s requirements (studied together and individually prepared your answer). Studying together can include discussion, explanation, and (comparative) analysis of solution strategies, but can’t include anything approaching verbatim copying or rephrasing of another’s creative work. Remember that your primary goals should be:

  • Helping each other identify and correct misconceptions 
  • Helping each other review concepts (normally called “studying together”) 
  • Helping each other to learn how to analytically solve problems 
  • Helping each other learn to communicate clearly 
  • Helping each other to be ready to earn a strong grade on the final exam and succeed in careers.

In all cases, “prepared in collaboration with…” is insufficient description. Better might be:
  • __, ___, and I brainstormed and evaluated solutions together for problems 1,3, and 4. 
  • ____ proof-read my solution to problem 8 and provided some suggestions on how to communicate my ideas more clearly. 
  • ____ suggested a solution strategy for problem 2 and coached me in understanding why it worked. 
  • ____ explained how to solve problem 3 and why that solution is correct. I repeated their analysis while preparing mu solutions. 

You are welcome to employ published or unpublished resources as well, providing that you properly (and similarly) categorize their contribution to your solution.

Eric Freudenthal,
Aug 23, 2015, 4:26 PM
Eric Freudenthal,
Aug 24, 2015, 1:51 AM
Eric Freudenthal,
Sep 20, 2009, 4:04 AM
Eric Freudenthal,
Sep 11, 2012, 1:05 PM