Course Information for CS252: Computer Architecture and Engineering

Spring 2014

Catalog Description: Graduate Computer Architecture

4 units. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: CS152 or equivalent, or permission of instructor.

Class Schedule/Rooms

Lectures: Monday and Wednesday, 10:30am-12:00pm, 320 Soda Hall

Instructor: Krste Asanović, Professor, CS Division, EECS Department
Email: krste at eecs
Office Hours: Wednesdays 3-4pm, 579 Soda Hall (email to confirm)

Course Grading

Course grade is based on three major components: Paper reviews and discussions, midterm, and final course project.

Paper assignments (25% = 15% for reviews plus 10% for discussion)

Papers (~2) will be assigned almost every lecture to be read before the start of next lecture, and each student must email their own individual 200-300 word review of each paper to instructor before start of class. Reviews should not be summaries that restate the abstract but should instead discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the paper as if the paper was being discussed at a program committee meeting at the date the paper was written. Reviews received after 10:30AM sharp on day of class will receive zero credit. Students will receive 15% credit for the writeups themselves and 10% credit for participation in class discussion of the papers. The lowest three days' scores for reviews will be ignored in the final grading, no separate extensions or slip days will be provided.

Midterm (25%)

In-class midterm exam on Wednesday April 2. Covers material (lectures and reading) up to and including Wednesday March 19. Closed book, no notes, no computers/phones. Test will emphasize understanding not memorization.

Class Project (50% = 15% final presentation plus 35% final paper)

The class project should be on a topic that could become a paper at a top architecture conference (ISCA, ASPLOS, MICRO, HPCA). Students must work in groups of 2 on the project. A project proposal is due at 11:59PM on Monday March 17, and should consist of a two-page PDF writeup with title, co-authors, and a description of the problem you're attacking, what has been done previously, what your new approach is, what resources you'll use to complete the project, and you're expected milestones along the way. The later part of the semester replaces two weeks of lectures with individual group project meetings with the instructor to present status updates and to get feedback on project progress. The final project presentation will count for 15% of your final grade, and will be 25 minutes long with additional 5 minutes for questions, and will be given in a special session during RRR week. The final project paper should be a 10-page PDF paper in two-column conference format, and must be sent to instructor by 11:59PM on Friday May 9.

See also Departmental Grading Guidelines for Graduate Courses


We'll be using Piazza for communication in the class. Sign up here.


The following textbook is required for the course:

TextBook Picture J. L. Hennessy and D. A. Patterson, Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, 5th Edition, Morgan Kaufmann Publishing Co., Menlo Park, CA. 2012.
ISBN: 978-0-12-383872-8

We will also use material from the companion Web site.

The following textbook is recommended to refresh your background and to provide a simpler introduction to some of the basic concepts. Any recent edition should be sufficient for background study.

TextBook Picture D. A. Patterson and J. L. Hennessy, Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface, 5th Edition, Revised Printing, Morgan Kaufmann Publishing Co., Menlo Park, CA., September 2013.

ISBN: 9780124077263