computer organization
c m s c 311  
s p r i n g   2 0 0 3  

  Meesh 311 Page
  Geek Links
  Class Notes
  Submit Directions
Project 1 [FAQ]
Project 2
Project 3 [FAQ]
Project 4
  Exam Information
Exam 1 Review
Exam 1 Review Soln
Exam 2 Review
Exam 2 Review Soln
Final Review
  Lecture Topics


Click Here: Final Information

Office Hours:

Makeup Final Exam: Tuesday, May 20, 10 AM, AVW 1152

NOTE: Don't have to memorize page 360. Read below.

(6.1.03) Project grades are complete. I recomputed grades given project grades a weight of 25% and exam grades a weight of 75%, and recomputed grade cutoffs. I was a little more conservative with the grade cutoffs because after rank 90, many students skipped one project and did so-so on the others. A few students improved their grades, but for the most part, students either stayed the same, or went down.

(5.28.03) P1 went out to the TAs. I will be tabulating P2 and P3 grades, and should be computing final grades tomorrow. I will email out project grades after that. I'm taking the better of your project/exam and exam grade only grades, so you won't do worse than your exam grade cutoff (but it's possible, you won't do better either).

(5.25.03) I'm about ready to enter final EXAM grades and decide some preliminary cutoffs. Project 2 has been (for the most part) sent to the graders, and I should be working on P1 and P3 grading Sunday and Monday. I should have initial letter grades based on exams (only) by Monday-ish, subject to students having completed 2 of 3 projects, with overall final grades by Tuesday or so.

The final appears to have a higher mean than the second exam. More people have done well, though a few have done very badly too.

Regrades will be considered around Thursday of the week, esp. if you're looking at summer classes.

The penalty for messing up your submission will probably not be as great as stated below. Nevertheless, learn to pay very close attention to directions. If you're unsure, ask and ask again. And don't do it last minute, or you're likely to get deductions for not paying attention.

(5.24.03) Several people were unable to follow directions when submitting project 2. For example, many people wrote a file that said "Check out my webpage at link so-and-so". I wrote EXPLICIT directions to create a webpage named chs11001.html (replacing your username with the one listed).

This means create a webpage with an "A HREF" link, and add a link in there and that chs11001.html should be a valid webpage. Non-webpages may incur heavy penalties for the time I waste, handling the individual cases. (20 points deduction at least).

Examples of people not following directions include chs11012 (no HTML), chs11013 (named HTML file incorrectly), chs11028 (submitted public_html directory, instead of as described in webpage), chs11035 (used .htm extension), chs11042 (didn't use subdirectory, as specified in project---all files on main level), chs11046 (used incorrect HTML file name), chs11053 (didn't create subdirectory, or follow naming conventions), chs11054 (didn't follow naming conventions on main HTML file).

CMSC 114 and 214 teach you to follow directions, so you don't get penalized, and we don't waste time dealing with crazy variations because you won't read directions.

(5.23.03) Running behind schedule on completion of Final Exam, so will email when ready.

(5.21.03) It mentions Exam 1 in the email...should be Exam 2.

(5.21.03) Exam 2 grades have been emailed out. Rough cutoffs are A is 95 and above, B is 75 to 95, C is 60-75, D is 50-60, and F is 49 and below. Again, these are rough cutoffs. Final cutoffs may vary by a little. If you did not get email, it may be because I have the incorrect email for you. You can email clin @ umd5 etc. if you want me to email the scores to you again.

(5.20.03) I should be able to email Exam 2 averages by tomorrow, and final exam grades by Thursday. Two TAs have a project due Friday, so they can't work on the projects until the weekend, so we're looking at the weekend to finish project grades. At this point, I'm expecting that Monday for final overall grades.

If you have a demo, let me know, and I can take a look at it.

(5.19.03) Makeup time posted. You may come up to 11 AM if you have a final at 8 AM.

(5.18.03) I am about to schedule the makeup for the final on Tuesday morning. I have a list of students who said they needed a makeup. If you did not take the final, and have a valid reason, send email right away to

The room will be posted, once it's determined where it is.

(5.18.03) I will be sending email about makeups by Monday morning. The makeup will either be Tuesday morning or Wednesday morning. I will send/post the room number.

Due to the final's schedule of my TAs, we're now looking at Wednesday to complete the final exam grading for those who took it on time.

(5.17.03) Quick notes on PLA now available in the Combinational Logic section. Should be easy to read and master. The diagrams are somewhat different from your handout, but still close enough to get the idea quickly.

(5.16.03) I've realized that I can ask good enough questions while providing you the full diagram on page 360. Be familiar with the diagram so you can explain what happens with various instructions.

(5.16.03) There are now class notes on the memory section. Click on Class Notes on the left.

(5.16.03) Errata The control bits c0 and c1 are reversed in the solution for the 1-4 DeMUX. I've corrected it on the webpage now, so if you download solutions after reading this, it should be fixed.

(5.16.03) I've posted a Final Review, but it's fairly thin. Right now, I'm working on posting some notes on cache and interleaved memory. For the book, know section 5.3 pretty well (on Simple Implementation of MIPS CPU).

(5.16.03) Corrections to challenge problem C.3. q1 + should have the same values as column z in the truth table. That has now been fixed. The Moore machine should be correct.

(5.15.03) Here's are Exam 1 Solutions and Exam 2 Solutions . Here's last semester's final Final Exam, Fall 2002. I'm unlikely to post solutions to that final.

Here is a link to HW I wrote a while back. Look at the Cache Quiz in particular.

Old quizzes.

(5.13.03) As I've said in class many times, you only need to turn in 2 of 3 projects, so you avoid a penalty. However, the more projects you turn in, the more points you can get.

(5.09.03) FAQ for P3 is posted. The information there was also in the SPIM documentation and discussed in class.

(5.07.03) In P3, it's the last line of the input that tells you where to start the DFS. Assume this is a valid vertex.

(5.06.03) Handout on Cache (PS). You should read up on set-associative cache, as well.

(5.06.03) Submit directions are posted. There's a link on the left hand side. You only need to submit 2 of 3 projects. However, the more projects you submit, the better your project score.

(5.05.03) Minor corrections to solutions to sum code in Review for exam 2.

(5.04.03) Questions on sequential logic are up. Click on Exam 2 Review.

(5.03.03) There's a link to Old Exams on the left.

Solutions to Review Questions for Exam 2 are partly up. I will be working on the solutions this evening, plus writing additional questions. Keep an eye of that.

Oddly enough, this happens all the time. I mention things in class, and people hear it completely differently. I said there is NOT likely to be REGISTER FILES. However, I did NOT say there wouldn't be PARALLEL LOAD REGISTERS. Study parallel load registers! (This happened in a previous semester when I said there wouldn't be carry lookahead adders, and people didn't study ANY adders at all).

Also, the likelihood of carry lookahead adders is pretty low, and would appear in the challenge section, if it appears at all.

(5.02.03) CPU Handout, just in case you didn't get it in class.

(5.02.03) Review 11 AM--1 PM in room 2107, in CSIC.

(5.01.03) Project 2 now moved to Tuesday 11:59 PM. Looking for a room to have review on Friday between 11-1. Should post review questions (but look at the two posted from the previous exam).

See "additional topics" on the Exam 2 information.

(4.29.03) Notes from April 24th class: Finite State Machines (PS) and Sequential Logic

Also, exam 2 information is now posted.

(4.23.03) Submit your extra credit assembler project to Project 8, instead of project 9.

(4.19.03) VISIT MEESH link updated.

(4.18.03) Posted DFS code in posting account: ~chs11001/Proj/P3

There is also a DFS tutorial. You may wish to read about function calls and arrays in MIPS from your book.

(4.17.03) As mentioned in class, Projects 2 and 3 are posted. Also, exam 2 is scheduled on Monday, May 5. This should be at 5:30 PM to 7 PM in CSIC 1115. We will also have an overflow room (room 1122) since the large lecture hall is not enough to hold everyone (I think).

Email: to arrange a makeup on Wednesday, if you have an excuse for not being able to make it.

Some more details will be posted soon.

(3.23.03) Note: the only extra credit you can hand in separately is the assembler. All other extra credit should be handed in with the project. It will be too much of a pain dealing with ontime submissions and late extra credit. ONLY the assembler should be handed in separately.

(3.21.03) I've added a FAQ link to the left. See Project 1. The FAQ is still in the posting account.

(3.20.03) Read the additional announcements about submitting. The main thing that's being clarified is escape sequences.

(3.19.03) The submit script is now working. It will let you submit any tar file with a README and Makefile, so it's up to you to make sure your tarfile is working fine. See Project 1 specs...there's a link to how to submit.

(3.19.03) The submit script is acting a little flaky. I'm trying to get it working by Wednesday. However, you can read the submit instructions. Go the project webpage, and read about it. Hopefully, all will be fixed by Wednesday afternoon.

For now, those who INSIST on submitting it, can email their tarfile to: Try NOT to do this, unless absolutely necessary. Once submit is working, that's it. Email will not be acceptable.

There's a modified late policy for Spring Break. It works to your advantage.

(3.18.03) If you're taking a makeup on Wednesday, it will be held in AVW 1112. You should come between 4-6:30 PM, to get the full 90 minutes. You should be on Kinga's list.

(3.17.03) If you're taking a makeup on Tuesday, it will be held in AVW 3258. You should come in between 1-1:30 PM, to get the full 90 minutes.

Also, since the points were not written correctly, each quiz is now worth 40 points (originally, quiz 2 was worth 20 points). This will bring the total to 160 points, which will then be scaled back to 140 points.

(3.16.03) Kinga has moved the makeup times to 6 PM on Wednesday (there's also one at 11 AM on Tuesday). We'll send out room numbers by tomorrow (or post it here). Only names that Kinga has collected will be allowed to take the makeups.

(3.16.03) The rest of the solutions should be ready. I posted some additional notes. They aren't absolutely critical to read, but if you need more background on "char" or casting, they are the two most recent set of notes under "Data Representation". I've also added notes on "Underflow: in the same section, but you won't need to read that (it's quick reading though).

Also, notes to "fetch-execute-decode" are now up. I did this in class, but you should also read it. It's in the Basic Computer Organization

Make sure to read the Errata page. I've gotten some emails from students noticing errors.

(3.14.03) Some solutions now posted. Click on link on left. Rest should be posted over weekend.

(3.14.03) Some solutions to be posted this weekend. They're not up yet.

This is a link to an old webpage with exams and solutions. It's old enough that the format and content may be different. There are two exams posted, so you need to look through both to see the material relevant to this exam (ignore stuff you don't understand).

Click here

(3.14.03) We should have room 1122 in CSIC (one of the rooms that seats 50) for review from 11 AM - 1 PM on Friday, March 14. Bring questions to ask then.

Review Questions appear on left. Click on Exam 1 Review

Also, P1 is now due Friday, March 21 (CORRECTION!). Look for submit instructions by the weekend. Part 3 in P1 is now to be turned in separately as extra credits. The assembler extra credit can also be turned in separately. Wait for instruction on how to submit those too.

For P1, You SHOULD print repeated numbers out in arrays, should they exist. That is, instead of 3 3 3 3, it SHOULD appear as 3*4 (i.e., we deduct points if you don't). Obviously, you can write 3 3 3 3, but you will lose a few points for doing so.

(3.11.03) Makeup times for exam on Wednesday should be 3-5 PM, not 11 AM - 1 PM.

(3.09.03) Make sure to read the FAQ in the posting account in cd ~chs11001/Proj/P1/FAQ.

(3.07.03) There's a slight addendum to ascii in the P1 Disassembler Specs. It's in purple font.

(3.05.03) I've written hexWrite, a simple utility for converting ASCII files with "hex pairs" into binary files. Give it a try. cd ~chs11001/Proj/P1.

(3.05.03) Project 1 is due March 19. See P1 webpage.

(3.03.03) Posting account should be up. Look at sample input and output for part 2.

Also, Stuart has new office hours on Monday. He now meets 2-4 PM, instead of 1-3 PM.
(2.23.03) Quick project notes. Use ios_base instead of ios if using C++. Also, I've added more specs to the disassembler to indicate how to store ascii and asciiz.
(2.21.03) Part 2 of project is posted. It's the main part of the project. One more part to go!
(2.19.03) Class on Thursday? They say "yes". Classes are on-schedule, but if you are coming to campus (and are able to go), then you should leave an hour earlier than usual to deal with traffic. Check the main UMD webpage at in the morning to check the status.

(2.14.03) Hex dump utility specs up. Send email for clarifications. If enough mail comes in, I may use the newsgroup.

(2.14.03) Syllabus links now work. To see a hexdump utility on the detective cluster, try "xxd". The man pages for this are:

man xxd
Use this on an executable (and pipe it through "more" or "less", so it doesn't flash by too quickly) to get the full effect (you can run it on a text file too, if you want).

(2.13.03) Early version of Project 1 posted. More to come.

(2.7.03) Class Notes links now up. Two sets of notes are available (they're short). More coming along.