Introduction to Computing Systems (Fall 2022)

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


Due Next


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.


Project Registration Ticketing System

Course Staff


Book an appointment!
Annenberg 115
(626) 395-1765

Teaching Assistants

An Tran
Josh Hejna


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


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


L00 Wed, Sep 28 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 Fri, Sep 30 Memory
What does an abstraction for memory look like? Give me the details!
L02 Mon, Oct 03 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
Project00 (disk) due @ 11:30 pm on Mon, Oct 03
L03 Wed, Oct 05 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 Fri, Oct 07 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 Mon, Oct 10 x86-64 Loops & Data
Can you decipher the mystery programs? How do memory instructions work?
DS 7.5-7.6
Project01 (jvm) due @ 11:30 pm on Mon, Oct 10
L06 Wed, Oct 12 x86-64 Procedures
How do function calls and returns work? What is 'the stack' really?
DS 7.7-7.9, 12
L07 Fri, Oct 14 x86-64 Recursive Procedures
How does recursion work using the stack?
DS 7.7-7.9, 12
L08 Mon, Oct 17 Security: Buffer Overflows
What happens if we read past the end of a buffer? How can we exploit this?
Project02a (bomb) due @ 11:30 pm on Mon, Oct 17
L09 Wed, Oct 19 Dynamic Memory: Basic
What does a "basic" implementation of malloc look like?
L10 Fri, Oct 21 Dynamic Memory: Advanced
How can we make a performant malloc implementation?
L11 Mon, Oct 24 Dynamic Memory: Garbage Collection
How does Python handle reclaiming memory?
Project02b (asmgen) due @ 11:30 pm on Mon, Oct 24
L12 Wed, Oct 26 ECF: Processes
What is a process? How does Linux create, maintain, and destroy processes? How do shells work?
DS 13.2, OSTEP 5
L13 Fri, Oct 28 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 Mon, Oct 31 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
Midterm (adventure) due @ 11:30 pm on Mon, Oct 31
L15 Wed, Nov 02 Memory: Cache Memories
DS 11.3
L16 Fri, Nov 04 Memory: Virtual Memory
DS 13.3
L17 Mon, Nov 07 Security: Side-Channel Attacks
L18 Wed, Nov 09 Security: Meltdown
L19 Fri, Nov 11 Concurrent Programming: Processes & Threads
L20 Mon, Nov 14 Concurrent Programming: pthreads & mutexes
Project03 (malloc) due @ 11:30 pm on Mon, Nov 14
L21 Wed, Nov 16 Concurrent Programming: pthreads & mutexes
L22 Fri, Nov 18 Concurrent Programming: Condition Variables
L23 Mon, Nov 21 Concurrent Programming: More Condition Variables
Project04 (vm & meltdown) due @ 11:30 pm on Mon, Nov 21
:( Wed, Nov 23 No Class: Thanksgiving!
:( Fri, Nov 25 No Class: Thanksgiving!
L24 Mon, Nov 28 Final Exam Review
L25 Wed, Nov 30 Victory Lap
Project05 (passwd) due @ 11:30 pm on Wed, Nov 30
Final (final) due @ 11:30 pm on Thu, Dec 08