cs24-21fa

Introduction to Computing Systems (Fall 2021)

Welcome to CS 24! We’re super excited to have you here this term!

Announcements

Due Next

Calendar

Wellness and Inclusion

It is very important to us that you succeed in CS 24. We provide many extra resources to help you. Adam and the TAs hold many office hours, and we have a message board called Ed Discussion.

It is also very important to us that you maintain your mental wellness throughout the course. A few points are not worth losing sleep over. Everyone on the course staff is available to chat, and you can always attend office hours for a non-academic conversation if necessary. You can also visit the counseling center if you find you need help beyond the course staff. If you have a temporary health condition or permanent disability (either mental health or physical health related), you should contact accessibility services if you have not already. Additionally, if there is something we can do to make your experience better, please let us know.

Diversity, inclusion, and belonging are all core values of this course. All participants in this course must be treated with respect by other members of the community in accordance with the honor code. If you feel unwelcome or unsafe in any way, no matter how minor, we encourage you to talk to Adam or one of the Deans. We view these sorts of honor code violations as completely unacceptable, and we take them very seriously.

Tools

Project Registration Office Hours Queue

Course Staff

Instructor

they/them
Book an appointment!
Annenberg 115
blank@caltech.edu
(626) 395-1765

Teaching Assistants

Hopper
she/her
hopper@
Jeffrey Ma
he/him
jjma@
An Tran
he/him
antran@
Antonio Caceres
he/him
acaceres@
Bruno Freeman
he/him
bfreeman@
Daniel Bi
he/him
dbi@
Devin Chotzen-Hartzell
he/him
dchotzen@
Esmir Mesic
he/him
esmir@
James Bowden
he/him
jbowden@
Jonathon Corrales De Oliveira
he/him
jcorrale@
Josh Hejna
he/him
jhejna@
Jennifer Sun
she/her
jksun@
Jake Will
he/him
jwill@
Lucca De Mello
he/him
ldemello@
Meena Hari
she/her
mhari@
Rashida Hakim
she/her
rhakim@
Thai Khong
he/him
tkhong@

Handouts

The following is a list of handouts that you might find helpful throughout the course. We’ve categorized them by when they are useful.

Course

Syllabus – an overview of the course and administrative information

Collaboration Policy – an overview how the course will work since we’re online

Code Quality Guidelines – a list of style requirements for the projects

Tools of the Trade – tutorials for tools that you will need to use in this course

Manual Pages – documentation for relevant standard C functions

Weeks 2 & 3

x86-64 Reference – a description of relevant instructions and ABIs for x86-64

Schedule

L00 Mon, Sep 27 Perspectives on Computing Systems
What is this course about? How will grading work? What will the notes look like? What is hexadecimal and why do I care? How do computers represent information?
L01 Wed, Sep 29 Memory
What does an abstraction for memory look like? Give me the details!
L02 Fri, Oct 01 Fixed-Width Integers
How do computers represent integers? What about negative numbers? How does this affect me as a programmer?
DS 4.1-4.7
L03 Mon, Oct 04 x86-64 Introduction
What is x86-64? Why should I care about assembly? How can I understand basic assembly programs and instructions such as mov and others?
DS 7.1-7.3
L04 Wed, Oct 06 x86-64 Conditionals
How does branching work in x86-64? What is a label? How can we translate if statements into assembly?
DS 7.4
L05 Fri, Oct 08 x86-64 Loops & Data
Can you decipher the mystery programs? How do memory instructions work?
DS 7.5-7.6
L06 Mon, Oct 11 x86-64 Procedures
How do function calls and returns work? What is 'the stack' really?
DS 7.7-7.9, 12
L07 Wed, Oct 13 Security: Buffer Overflows
What happens if we read past the end of a buffer? How can we exploit this?
L08 Fri, Oct 15 Security: Buffer Overflows, Continued
Are there more sophisticated buffer overflow attacks? How do those work?
L09 Mon, Oct 18 Dynamic Memory: Basic
What does a "basic" implementation of malloc look like?
L10 Wed, Oct 20 Dynamic Memory: Advanced
How can we make a performant malloc implementation?
L11 Fri, Oct 22 Dynamic Memory: Garbage Collection
How does Python handle reclaiming memory?
L12 Mon, Oct 25 ECF: Processes
What is a process? How does Linux create, maintain, and destroy processes? How do shells work?
DS 13.2, OSTEP 5
L13 Wed, Oct 27 ECF: Signals
How do programs that are misbehaving get dealt with? How does the kernel communicate to user programs that something important has happened?
DS 13.4.1
L14 Fri, Oct 29 Memory: Locality & The Memory Hierarchy
How is memory unified into a seemingly giant array? What properties of programs make this work? How can we write good programs that take advantage of these properties?
DS 11.1-11.2
L15 Mon, Nov 01 Memory: Cache Memories
DS 11.3
L16 Wed, Nov 03 Memory: Virtual Memory
DS 13.3
L17 Fri, Nov 05 Security: Side-Channel Attacks
L18 Mon, Nov 08 Security: Meltdown
L19 Wed, Nov 10 Concurrent Programming: Processes & Threads
OSTEP 26
L20 Fri, Nov 12 Concurrent Programming: pthreads & mutexes
OSTEP 27
L21 Mon, Nov 15 Concurrent Programming: condition variables
OSTEP 27
L22 Wed, Nov 17 Concurrent Programming: Pitfalls
OSTEP 32
L23 Fri, Nov 19 Final Exam Review
L24 Mon, Nov 22 Victory Lap
:( Wed, Nov 24 No Class: Thanksgiving!
:( Fri, Nov 26 No Class: Thanksgiving!
L25 Mon, Nov 29
L26 Wed, Dec 01
L27 Fri, Dec 03