COMP SCI 7081 - Computer Systems
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021
General Course Information
Course Code COMP SCI 7081 Course Computer Systems Coordinating Unit Computer Science Term Semester 1 Level Postgraduate Coursework Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 2.5 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites COMP SCI 7103, COMP SCI 7202, COMP SCI 7202B or COMP SCI 7208 Assumed Knowledge Mathematics as taught in MATHS 1012 or MATHS 1008 and MATHS 1004 Restrictions Master of Computing and Innovation, Master of Data Science, Grad Dip in Computer Science and Grad Cert in Computer Science students only. Course Description This course introduces the elements of computer systems from the level of basic hardware gates, through to compilers, languages and applications. The aim is to give an overview of the layered nature of computer systems and how the use of simple interfaces can make the design of complex and powerful systems possible. Topics covered include: digital logic, memory, processors, assembly language, virtual machines, recursive descent parsing, code generation and operating systems.
Course Coordinator: Dr Alfred Fred Brown
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesOn successful completion of this course students 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
The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer.
The course is designed to develop the following Elements of Competency: 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.5 1.6 2.1 2.2 2.3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5
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) Deep discipline knowledge
- informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
- acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
- accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
1-7 Critical thinking and problem solving
- steeped in research methods and rigor
- based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
- demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
2,3,5 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
1-7 Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
- a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
- open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
- able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
Required ResourcesThe textbook for the course is: The Elements of Computing Systems, second edition, by Noam Nisan and Shimon Shocken, MIT Press, 2021, ISBN13-978-0-262-53980-7.
It is highly recommended that you buy this book. It is available in soft cover form and available electronically as an e-book. If you have access to the first edition, use that instead. There is no significant difference in the material covered by both editions.
The first six chapters of the textbook are on the Nand2Tetris website used by the course but we will be using materials in chapters beyond this.
Online LearningThe primary electronic resource for the course is the MyUni pages. These pages link to other electronic resources you will need such as the web submission system.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching Modes
The course will be taught using a combination of pre-recorded lectures, lecture review quizzes, workshops, quiz exams, programming exams and programming assignments. There is no end of semester written exam.
You are expected to read the relevant chapters of the text book before and after each lecture, and to actively participate in workshop activities.
The lecture review quizzes will be open during the week that they are due. Please check the course website regularly so you do not miss the lecture review quiz due dates.
To get the most out of the workshop sessions you need to prepare in advance and make sure that you focus on the workshop material during the workshop. This is the best time to get direct feedback on and assistance with the practical skills covered in the workshop. If you do not attend the workshops and ask questions, you may not be properly prepared for the programming assignments.
The programming assigments build on the practical skills shown in the workshops and give you an opportunity to demonstrate what you are learning. To get the most out of the programming assignments it is important to reflect on what you may be learning whilst attempting them by keeping a logbook that records how you developed your work.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.You are expected to spend 10 hours per week on the course. This includes:
- attending all of your enrolled classes,
- up to 2 hours per week on lecture preparation / review,
- up to 5 hours per week on the assignments and workshop preparation, and
- any remaining time working on the following week's material.
Learning Activities SummaryThe lecture topics, quizzes, workshop descriptions and assignment descriptions are all available on the course website.
A schedule is available on the course website but specific due dates are only available in each quizz, workshop description or assignment description.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment Task Weighting (%) Individual/ Group Formative/ Summative Due (week)* Learning outcomes CBOK Alignment** Online Lecture Review Quizzes + Individual Formative 1 to 11 1. 3. 6. 1.2 3.1 Workshops + Individual Formative 1 to 12 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 1.1 1.2 3.1 3.2 4.1 Assignments^+ 25 Individual Formative 7, 9, 13 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 1.1 1.2 3.1 3.2 4.1 Practical Exams 10 Individual Summative 8, 12 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 1.1 1.2 3.1 3.2 4.1 Exam Quizzes 20 Individual Summative 2, 4, 6, 10 1. 4. 7. 1.1 1.2 3.1 3.2 4.1 Supervised Exam Quizzes 45 Individual Summative 4, 8, 12 1. 4. 7. 1.1 1.2 3.1 3.2 4.1 Total 100
^ The assignments are mandatory.
+ The online lecture review quizzes, workshops and early submission of assignments may contribute to a bonus mark of up to 8.75%.
This assessment breakdown complies with the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy.
**CBOK is the Core Body of Knowledge for ICT Professionals defined by the Australian Computer Society. The alignment in the table above corresponds with the following CBOK Areas:
1. Problem Solving1.1 Abstraction1.2 Design
2. Professional Knowledge2.1 Ethics2.2 Professional expectations2.3 Teamwork concepts & issues2.4 Interpersonal communications2.5 Societal issues2.6 Understanding of ICT profession
3. Technology resources3.1 Hardware & Software3.2 Data & information3.3 Networking
4. Technology Building4.1 Programming4.2 Human factors4.3 Systems development4.4 Systems acquisition
5. ICT Management5.1 IT governance & organisational5.2 IT project management5.3 Service management5.4 Security management
Assessment Related RequirementsHurdle Requirement: If your overall mark for the course is greater than 45 F but, your mark for the week 12 supervised quiz exams is less than 40%, your overall mark for the course will be reduced to 45 F.
Additional Assessment: All assignments and exams are mandatory: you must make a submission for each assignment that, after application of late penalties, scores greater than 0, and attempt all exams or any opportunity for an additional assessment may be denied.
The scheduled Tuesday lecture times in weeks 2, 4, 6 and 10 will be used to run 45 minute unsupervised quiz exams, each of which contributes up to 5%. The quiz will be open for 1 hour which should accommodate any additional time requirements for students with a DAP.
A repeat of each quiz exam will take place at the same time in the following teaching week. All students who score less than 50% may take the repeat quiz exam as an additional assessment, with the mark capped at 50%. Students may take the repeat practical exam as a replacement exam, which is not capped, if they can provide appropriate written evidence, eg medical certificate. In both cases, if the mark in the repeat exam is less than the original exam mark, the original exam mark will not be reduced.
Supervised Quiz Exams
The scheduled workshop times in weeks 4, 8 and 12 will be used to run 45 minute supervised quiz exams which contributes up to 10%, 15% or 20% respectively. The quiz will be open for 1 hour which should accommodate any additional time requirements for students with a DAP. Remote students will be monitored using zoom (a webcam will be required to show who is taking the exam).
These quiz exams will test your understanding of the lecture, workshop and assignment material. You must achieve at least 40% of the marks available in the week 12 supervised quiz exam to satisfy the hurdle requirements for the course. These quiz exams must be taken under supervision.
A repeat of the supervised quiz exams may be held in a later teaching week but at a different time and only as a replacement exam. Students may take the repeat quiz exam as a replacement exam if they can provide appropriate written evidence, eg medical certificate, but if the mark in the repeat exam is less than the original exam mark, the original exam mark will not be reduced.
The scheduled Tuesday lecture times in weeks 8 and 12 will be used to run 45 minute practical exams, each of which contributes up to 5%. A demonstration version of each practical exam will be open one day earlier so that students can familiarise themselves with the how the practical exam will be run. The practical exam will be open for 1 hour which should accommodate any additional time requirements for students with a DAP.
A repeat of each practical exam will take place at the same time in the following teaching week. All students who score less than 50% may take the repeat practical exam as an additional assessment, with the mark capped at 50%. Students may take the repeat practical exam as a replacement exam, which is not capped, if they can provide appropriate written evidence, eg medical certificate. In both cases, if the mark in the repeat exam is less than the original exam mark, the original exam mark will not be reduced.
All programming assignments require you to write programs that will be assessed by considering three aspects of your submissions, automatic assessement by the Web Submission System, including an automatic review of the submitted programs coding style, and a manual review of the associated logbook. The logbook is a vital part of your assessment - a lack of a log-book with a narrative of your development process may result in a mark of 0 for the assignment. Details of how the three aspects are combined and a marking rubric is provided on the course website. These are linked to by each programming assignment description.
Each assignment has two submission times at which marks are awarded, a milestone submission and a final submission. The milestone submissions require some work to be completed early.
Assignment Milestone Due Final Due Description Weighting Assignment 1 Tuesday Week 7 Friday Week 7 Programming 5% Assignment 2 Tuesday Week 9 Friday Week 9 Programming 5% Assignment 3 Friday Week 11 Monday Week 13 Programming 15%
At the end of the course you will receive a bonus mark based on a maximum bonus mark that is scaled down based on your level of pariticipation in the course.
Maximum Bonus Mark
The maximum bonus mark you can receive is calculated using your final mark for the quiz exams, programming exams and programming assignments. The maximum bonus is 0 if your score is less than 40% before rounding. If your score is greater than or equal to 40% the maximum bonus is progressively scaled down, in proproportion to the square of your score, from 8.75 to 0 as your score increases from 40% to 100%. It is calculated as follows:
1. Your final mark is scaled down, AM = max(0,mark * 1.25 - 25), this scales 60 to down to 50, smaller marks get a bigger bonus.
2. The maximum bonus for marks less than 60 is 5 * (2 - (AM / 50)2)
3. The maximum bonus for marks greater than 60 is 5 * ((100 - AM) / 50)2
This is a graphical representation of how the maximum bonus mark varies with your score from 40 to 100:
You may receive up to 5 participation marks for each workshop that you prepare for, attend and actively participate in. Preparation and participation will be assessed via the Web Submission System and attendance will be recorded using the Practical Marker. The due dates are available on the course website. If a workshop is used to run a supervised quiz exam, workshop attendance will be recorded if you take the exam.
You may receive up to 5 additional participation marks for each of the first four workshops if they are completed in full by the end of the following teaching week. The due dates are available on the course website.
You may receive up to 5 participation marks for each lecture review quiz that you attempt. The quiz mark will be used as the participation mark. There will be a significant number of lecture review quizzes available on the course website. The quizzes will show you the correct answers when you submit and they will allow multiple attempts in the time they are available. The due dates are available on the course website.
You may receive up to 5 participation marks for early submission of a programming assignment. The final submission test marks awarded by the Web Submission System will be used as the participation mark and scaled to a score between 0 and 5. For all programming assignments, the best mark for any submission prior to the milestone deadline will be used to generate participation marks. For assignment 3, the best mark for any submission at least one week prior to the milestone deadline will be used to generate up to 5 additional participation marks.
The participation mark for assignment 1 is allocated to week 7, the participation mark for assignment 2 to week 9 and both participation marks for assignment 3 to week 12.
Final Bonus Mark Calculation
At the end of each teaching week, starting at the end of week 3, all available participation marks for the previous 3 weeks will be added together and compared to the maximum number of participation marks that were available. The percentage will then be doubled and capped at 100%. At the end of week 12, the average will be used as a participation percentage. This is used to scale down your maximum bonus mark and the result is added to your final mark for the course. The following table shows some example calculations:
Course Mark Max Bonus Participation (%) Actual Bonus Final Course Mark 0 0 100 0 0% 20 0 50 0 20% 40 8.75 65 5.7 46% 60 5 20 1 61% 80 1.25 100 1.25 81% 100 0 45 0 100%
All programming assignments must be submitted using the School of Computer Science online Submission System. Details are included in each assignment description on the course website.
Submissions made to a 'Submit Here' assignment are allocated a set of marks by a test script that are then used to separately calculate a a mark for each sub-assignment. Each sub-assignment has its own due date that is also used to cap the mark given to a specific submission, based on how many days late it is, as follows:
- up to 1 day late — mark is reduced to 75%, marks below 75% are not affected.
- up to 2 days late — mark is reduced to 50%, marks below 50% are not affected.
- up to 3 days late — mark is reduced to 25%, marks below 25% are not affected.
- More than 3 days late — mark is reduced to 0.
- For each sub-assignment, you get the best mark awarded for any of your submissions after late penalties. Marks awarded for a particular submission cannot reduce the marks awarded for any other submission.
- We use the time at which a particular revision is submitted to the Web Submission System to determine late penalties not when the revision was committed to your svn repository.
- We expect to be able to return the final marks of each assignment within three weeks of the final due date.
- Any extensions will be displayed in the web submission system against specific sub-assignments and automatically used to adjust any late penalties.
- Extensions under a Disability Action Plan may be automatically granted at the start of semester. Failure to submit a DAP within the first two weeks of semester may result in any extension requests being refused.
The bonus marks are intended to reflect timely engagement with the course material and as such the related activities must occur within the published time frames, exceptions are not permitted for any reason. Late submissions will receive a mark of 0. There are twice as many participation marks available than can be used so a small number of absences will not affect the final bonus mark.
Quiz Exams and Practical Exams
Students who do not attend an exam will be dealt with on a case by case basis subject to appropriate documentation being provided. Late submissions for any exam will receive a mark of 0.
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.
Myuni Grade BookThe participation marks will be collated and published in the myuni grade book no more than 3 weeks after the week in which they are earned. A grade book comment may describe how the marks were calculated.
The programming exam marks will be collated and published in the myuni grade book after the last student has completed the exam.
The programming assignment marks will be collated and published in the myuni grade book when the final submissions have been marked. Note, these may appear to be different from those in the web submission system because of the individual weightings applied to the milestone and final submission marks. A grade book comment may be included that describes how the components were used to calculate the final assignment mark.
All quiz exams will be muted after they are taken. After the last student has completed the quiz exam, a separate myuni assignment will be created to publish the quiz marks. A grade book comment may be included that describes a breakdown of the quiz exam marks by question categories and it may also include some general feedback. Access to the original quiz exam attempts will not be permitted.
A provisional final mark for the course may be published in the myuni gradebook, with a comment indicating the bonus mark included, which may be different to the final official result that is published later. The final official results will only be available through Access Adelaide.
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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) 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.
- Academic Integrity for Students
- Academic Support with Maths
- Academic Support with writing and study skills
- Careers Services
- International Student Support
- Library Services for Students
- LinkedIn Learning
- Student Life Counselling Support - Personal counselling for issues affecting study
- Students with a Disability - Alternative academic arrangements
- YouX Student Care - Advocacy, confidential counselling, welfare support and advice
Policies & Guidelines
This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
- Academic Credit Arrangements Policy
- Academic Integrity Policy
- Academic Progress by Coursework Students Policy
- Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy
- Copyright Compliance Policy
- Coursework Academic Programs Policy
- Elder Conservatorium of Music Noise Management Plan
- Intellectual Property Policy
- IT Acceptable Use and Security Policy
- Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment Policy
- Reasonable Adjustments to Learning, Teaching & Assessment for Students with a Disability Policy
- Student Experience of Learning and Teaching Policy
- Student Grievance Resolution Process
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.