COMP SCI 2000 - Computer Systems

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015

Information storage representation, Memory organisation and hierarchy, Processor fundamentals, assembler programming, assembler operation, subroutine calling mechanisms, linking/loading, Input-output and device controllers requirements for supporting an operating system and device drivers.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMP SCI 2000
    Course Computer Systems
    Coordinating Unit Computer Science
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 2.5 hours per weeks
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites One of COMP SCI 1007, COMP SCI 1009, COMP SCI 1103, COMP SCI 1203, COMP SCI 2103 or COMP SCI 2202
    Assumed Knowledge MATHS1012 or MATHS 1008
    Assessment written exam, assignments
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Alfred Fred Brown

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Upon completion of this course you will be able to:
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the layered and modular nature of computer systems.
    2. Design the core components of a computer from basic components.
    3. Understand and Apply knowledge of how computers represent programs and data.
    4. Explain how a computer executes a program.
    5. Write assembler and machine code.
    6. Understand the translation process from higher level representations into machine language
    7. Explain how Input/output operations  are implemented, and describe some basic I/O devices
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2,3,5,6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2,3,5,6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1,4,6,7
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1,4,5,7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The textbook for the course is: Elements of Computing Systems, by Noam Nisan and Shimon Shocken (MIT Press).
    It is highly recommended that you buy this book. It is available from the book store in soft cover form and available electronically as an e-book.

    The first six chapters of are on the Nand2Tetris website used by the course but we will be using materials in chapters beyond this.

    Online Learning
    There is an online forum, managed by Moodle, which can be found here:
    (search for Computer Systems, under this semester's second year classes)

    We will use the forum to announce any changes to the course, exercises, or tutorials.
    You are therefore strongly advised to read all mail that comes from this source — do not ignore it!
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will be taught using a variation of team-based learning, with lecture/demonstration sessions

    There will also be regular tutorial classes, and four practical programming exercises.

    You are expected to read the book before and after each lecture, and to actively participate in class activities.

    To get the most out of the tutorial sessions you must attempt the questions before the session --- there is often not time to do all questions in these sessions and the sessions will sometimes be run as workshops that assume you have already submitted your solutions.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    You are expected to attend all scheduled classes.
    In addition to the scheduled contact hours, you are expected to spend an additional 1-2 hours per week as lecture preparation.
    You will need to allocate 2-5 hours per week to work on the assignment and tutorial work.
    Learning Activities Summary
    There is an approximate schedule of the topics that will be covered on the course website (see to locate the online content of the course).

    The exact timing will depend on the times of public holidays and quizzes.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    The assessment will comprise four parts:
    • Exam (50%)  (CBOK areas* abstraction, design, hardware and software, data and information, and programming)
    • Four Assignments (30%) (CBOK areas* abstraction, design, hardware and software, data and information, and programming)
    • Ten Quizzes (10%) (CBOK areas* design, hardware and software)
    • Five marked tutorials (10% total) (CBOK areas* abstraction, design, hardware and software, data and information, and programming)
    *For the CBOK See:
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Hurdle Requirement: If your overall mark for the course is greater than 44 F but, your mark for the final written exam is less than 40%, your overall mark for the course will be reduced to 44 F.
    Assessment Detail
    The written exam is held in the end-of-semester exam period. The exam will test your understanding of the assignment, tutorial and lecture material.

    All practical assignments requre you to write programs, which will be partly marked by an automatic testing script.
    You are strongly encouraged to begin the exercises early, to allow time for seeking help when needed. In all practical assignments you will be required to submit a pdf of a log-book/journal that you maintain during your development of your solution to the assignment. This log-book is a vital part of your assessment - a lack of a log-book with a narrative of your development process will result in a mark of zero for the assignment.

    Assignment details:

    Assignment Milestone Due Milestone Due Description Weighting
    Assignment 1 Friday Week 2 Friday Week 3 Logic Gates 7.5%
    Assignment 2 Friday Week 5 Friday Week 6 Sequential Logic 7.5%
    Assignment 3 Friday Week 8 Friday Week 9 Building a Processor 7.5%
    Assignment 4 Friday Week 11 Friday Week 12 Jack Parser 7.5%

    The last five tutorials are worth 2% each: 1% for your preparation - handed in in the form of a PDF in the moodle forums and 1% for your attendance and active participation in the tutorial session itself.

    There will be 10 quizzes (primarily online) held during the semester.
    All practical assignments must be submitted using the School of Computer Science online Submission System. Details are included in each assignment description on the course website.

    Tutorial submissions will be submitted via the Course's moodle forum.

    If you hand in your work late, your mark may be capped, based on how many days late it is, as follows:
    up to 1 day late — mark capped at 75%
    up to 2 days late — mark capped at 50%
    up to 3 days late — mark capped at 25%
    More than 3 days late — no marks available.

    We expect to be able to return the final marks of each assignment within three weeks of the deadline.

    Due to the nature of the on-line quizzes, no late submissions are permitted.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    You can find the latest SELT survey results on the course website, here:

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.