Computer Science





CS 506 (Computer Systems and Concepts)





3 Class Hours per Week
















M. Mano, Computer System Architecture, 3rd edition, Prentice Hall, 1993.


A. McHoes and I. Flynn, Understanding Operating Systems, 7th edition, Cengage Learning/Course Technology/, 2014, ISBN- 13: 9781285096551








Computer Magazines and Journals






Fall 2015





Dr. A. Joseph



Course Description: This course provides an integrated survey of fundamental ideas in the areas of computer architecture, operating system, and programming language specification and translation.








Dr. A. Joseph



163 Williams St., 2nd floor, Room 231



212 346 1492


Office Hours:


Monday (NYC)            11:00 am – 4:00 am







Grading Policy


Final examination:



In-class examinations (5 -- 20 minutes exams):


36% [best 3 of 4]




Class Preparation and participation



Projects and project presentation:



16% (6% for presentation)




Extra credit (optional):


Note: All students who want to improve their grade to a sufficiently high level. This assignment may be a project. It is not intended to be a substitute for any regular class assignment.


10% (Due by week 12 and no later)


Final grade Determination


Above 92%

90% -- 92%



85% -- 89%



80% -- 84%



75% -- 79%



65% --74%



Below 65%






Note: Grades are computed to the nearest whole number.






Learning Objectives and Outcomes


A student in this Computer Systems and Concepts course will achieve the following objectives and corresponding outcomes:


Objective #1


Students will acquire sound knowledge in the key principles and practices used in the design and analysis of a digital computer system.


Outcomes #1


1a.    Demonstrate an understanding of the basic building blocks of the functional units of a digital computer system.

1b.    Use truth tables and algebraic expressions to describe the functions of simple combinational circuits, design circuits from these descriptions, design basic sequential circuits from truth tables, and analyze related combinational and sequential circuits,

1c.    Demonstrate the ability to explain and able to discuss the relative utility of signed-magnitude and two’s complement representation of negative integers from the point-of-view of a digital computing device.

1d.    Explain the steps involve in the design of a basic digital computer system.


Objective #2


Students will understand the differences among the main types programming languages relative to their effect on a digital computer processing speed; relationships between the types of programming languages from a user perspective; and tradeoffs between hardware and software in digital systems design and implementation; as well as develop the analytical skills needed troubleshoot assembly language programs.


Outcomes #2


2a.    Demonstrate through descriptions, discussions, and/or illustrations an understanding of the purpose of an assembly language, its programming objectives, and its relationship to machine language and high-level languages.

2b.    Understand and be able to explain the concepts of assembly language directives, operators, macros, and program structure

2c.    Demonstrate the ability to analyze assembly language programs and to translate simple high-level language programs into corresponding assembly language programs.

2d.    Discuss the issues involved in hardware or software implementation of an instruction in a digital computer instruction set.

2e.    Understand and be able to distinguish between logical and physical memory addresses and data storage.  

2f.     Demonstrate the ability to discuss, with appropriate illustrations, the concepts of subroutine calls and interrupts at the assembly language level.


Objective #3


Understand and can explain the concepts relating to different operating systems, process, threads, concurrency, paging, segmentation, memory allocation, scheduling, and system design tradeoffs..


Outcomes #3


3a.      Describe the basic role of the operating system.

3b.      Identify the differences between the batch, interactive, real-time, hybrid, and embedded operating systems.

3c.       Identify the basic functionality of the three memory allocation schemes.

3d.      Identify the paged, demand paging, segmented, and segmented/demand paged allocation schemes.

3e.       Identify the difference between job scheduling and process scheduling.

3f.       Identify deadlock, starvations, and race.

3g.       Demonstrate the ability to discuss the tradeoffs inherent in operating system design and able to identify potential threats and their safeguards in designed systems.

3h.      Identify the differences between sequential and direct access media.

3i.        Solve problems involving process control, mutual exclusion, deadlock and synchronization


Objective #4


Objective #4


Develop team-building, social, and organizational skills that they can further develop in other classes and in their professional careers.


Outcomes #4


4a.      Demonstrate an ability to work effectively in teams.

4b.      Demonstrate the ability for effective oral and written communication.



Academic Integrity: Please visit to review Seidenberg Academic Integrity Policy. It is very important that you read and familiarize yourself with Seidenberg CSIS statement of academic integrity.


Tentative Examination Schedule:


Course Section

In-class Examinations

Projects Presentation & Submission

Final Examination

CS 506 (CRN: 71652)

10/6; 10/27; 11/17; & 12/8/2015

December 01, 2015

December 15, 2015


Course Section

Day, Time, and Location of Class Meetings

First and Last Day of Class Meetings

CS 506 (CRN: 71652)

Tuesday: 6:10pm – 9:00pm; 163 William Street/163WM 1415


First class: September 2, 2015

Last class: December 18, 2015


Note 1: In general, the lessons will highlight inquiry-based lecture-discussion and may include storytelling. The central focus of the course will be critical thinking and problem-solving. To get the most out of the course, each student is expected to study the reading assignments and genuinely attempt each homework problem before coming to class. The idea is to come to class ready with questions about and ideas relating to the course materials and associated problems.


Note 3: In the interest of learning, it is very important to come to class prepared to learn – do all required assignments. Failure to do so could diminish your ability to get the most out of each lesson and the class. Remember that learning is action oriented. That is, it is not enough to come to class to listen to what others have to say. You should come to class prepared to become involve in all aspects of classroom activities because learning is an active process.







Homework Assignments





Digital Logic, Digital Components, and Data Repesentation: Digital logic circuits (logic gates, Boolean algebra, combinational circuits, and flip-flops); Digital components (decoders, multiplexers, registers, counters tri-state switches, buses, and memory units); and Data representation (data types, 2’s complement, fixed-point, and floating-point).

Read: Chap. 1.

Prob.: 1, 3-6, 7, 11, 14, 15, and 17.

Read: Chap 2.

Prob.: 3, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 19-23.

Read: Chap. 3.

Prob.: 1-5, 7-10, 13, 16-17, 20, and 23.





Register transfer and microoperations: Register transfer (language, and bus and memory); microoperations (shift, logic, and arithmetic); and arithmetic logic shift unit (ALU).

Read: Chap. 4.

Prob.: 1-4, 6-9, 11, 18, 19, 21 and 23.





Basic computer organization and design: Instruction codes; timing and control; instruction cycle; computer instructions; computer registers; instruction cycle; memory reference instructions; input/output and interrupt; and design of accumulator logic and basic computer.

Read: Chap. 5.

Prob.:1-7, 9-10, 12, and 15-18





Introducing Operating Systems: Introduction to operating system; Operating System Software; Main Memory Management; Processor Management; Device Management; File Management; User Interface; Cooperation Issues; Types of Operating Systems; Overview of Operating System Functions; Functions of an Operating System; and Linux Architecture.

Read chapter 1

Do problems 6, 8, &15..





Memory Management: Introduction; Single-User Contiguous Scheme; Fixed Partitions; Dynamic Partitions; Best-Fit and First-Fit Allocation; Deallocation; Relocatable Dynamic Partitions; Paged Memory Allocation; Demand Paging Memory Allocation; Page Replacement Policies and Concepts; First-In First-Out; Least Recently Used; The Mechanics of Paging; Working Set; Advantages and Disadvantages of Demand Paging; Segmented Memory Allocation; Segmented/Demand Paged Memory Allocation; and Virtual Memory.

Read chapters 2 & 3

Do problems 2/6; 3/5, 7, 14 & 15





Processor and process management: Introduction; Definitions; Multi-Core Technologies; Scheduling Submanagers; Process Scheduler; Job and Process States; Thread States; Control Blocks; Control Blocks and Queuing; Scheduling Policies; Scheduling Policies; First-Come, First-Served; Shortest Job Next; Priority Scheduling; Shortest Remaining Time; and Round Robin.

Read chapters 4

Do problems 4/7& 12.





Project presentation and submission: projects presented to class and submitted.






process management and Concurrency: Introduction; Deadlock, Livelock, and Starvation; Deadlock; Necessary Conditions for Deadlock or Livelock; Modeling Deadlocks; Strategies for Handling Deadlocks, Starvation; Parallel Processing; Levels of Multiprocessing; Multi-Core Processors; Master/Slave Configuration; Loosely Coupled Configuration; Symmetric Configuration; Process Synchronization Software; and Process Cooperation.

Read chapter 6

Do problems 5/17; 6/2, 5, 6, &10





Final examination






Note 1: This course is structured around freely formed small collaborative teams in a cooperative learning environment. Students are encouraged to work together in their respective teams to form effective and productive teams that share the learning experience within the context of the course, help each other overcome learning difficulties, spend time to get to know each other, and spend time each week to discuss and help one another with the course work (content and assignments). Each team member is responsible for the completion and submission of each assignment. Each team member will be individually graded.


Note 2: During the first class session, student background information may be collected to get a sense of the diversity of student population, educational background, and learning style. An assessment test may be given to determine students’ prerequisite knowledge of the subject.


Team project: Students in small teams of two to four persons will participate in a research project supported by a technical report. The research topic will be on an emerging area of interest to an organization or the research community. In this project, teams will conduct research to assist in the determination of the solution to the research problem. They will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of how research is conducted and the significance of the problem solution. The project grade to individual students within a team will be based upon their personal involvement and level of participation in the project as determined by their teammates and the professor.


Web support: This course may be supported with most or all of the following Blackboard postings: lesson questions, lessons (MS PowerPoint), instructions and guidelines pertaining to the course, operating system and architecture related news, team and class discussions boards, correspondence about the course, homework solutions, examination grades, and miscellaneous course related information and activities.


Supplementary materials: Handouts in class or web postings of current events and issues affecting information security and risk analysis/assessment.  Some books that may be helpful to the course will be posted on Blackboard.


In class activity and participation: Students are encouraged to bring to class articles on current newsworthy events in information security, risk analysis/assessment and management and related news to share with the class. Students are welcome to inform the class on these events and their significance to operating system and architecture.




Students are strongly encouraged to download relevant posted lessons from Blackboard and review them. They are encouraged to ask questions about these lessons in class.


Effort may be made to present some lessons using the storytelling format supported with subsequent discussion and elaboration on the central themes of the respective lessons.


The key elements of a story are the following: causality, conflict, complication, and character.



Collaborative teams are designed to function outside of the classroom. Collaborative team activities will be reinforced inside the class during the lessons. Teams are encouraged to function cohesively and to participate in all class activities.



The following excerpts about collaborative learning are from research documents:


·         In the university environment, educational success and social adjustments  depend primarily on the availability and effectiveness of developmental academic support systems.


·         Most organized learning occurs in some kind of team  team characteristics and team processes significantly contribute to success or failure in the classroom and directly [affect] the quality and quantity of learning within the team.


·         Team work invariably produces tensions that are normally absent, unnoticed, or suppressed in traditional classes.  Students bring with them a variety of personality types, cognitive styles, expectations about their own role in the classroom and their relationship to the teacher, peers, and the subject matter of the course.


·         Collaborative learning involves both management and decision-making skills to choose among competing needs.  The problems encountered with collaboration have management, political, competence, and ethical dimensions


·         The two key underlying principles of the collaborative pedagogy are that active student involvement is a more powerful learning tool than the passive attendance and that students working in teams can make for more effective learning than students acting alone.   The favorable outcomes of collaborative learning include greater conceptual understanding, a heightened ability to apply concepts, and improved attendance.  Moreover, students become responsible for their own learning is likely to increase their skills for coping with ambiguity, uncertainty, and continuous change, all of which are characteristics of contemporary organizations.



Who creates a new activity in the face of risk and uncertainty for the purpose of achieving success and growth by identifying opportunities and putting together the required resources to benefit from them?


Creativity is the ability to develop new ideas and to discover new ways to of looking at problems and opportunities


Innovation is the ability to apply creative solutions to those problems and opportunities to enhance or to enrich people’s lives.


Each team may be viewed as a small business that is seeking creative and innovative ways to maximize its product, academic outcomes or average team grade. A satisfactory product is the break-even team average grade of 85%. Teams getting average grades of above 85% are profitable enterprises.



Pace University

Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems

Academic Information and Policies


Policy on Student Class Behavior

Learning in a class is the responsibility of the student. The student must attend class, complete assignments, take tests, and seek help when needed. It is the job of the professor to guide the learning process through lectures, assignments, and evaluation of student work. But learning cannot occur without the active participation of the student both in and outside of class. In class, students are expected to talk and participate when it is appropriate to do so and to be respectful to faculty and fellow students, when they are speaking or working. In addition, students are expected to turn off their cell phones and beepers prior to the start of the class.

Students who disrupt class or who prevent others from participating in classroom activities may be subject to removal from class and other University disciplinary action.

Procedure for Students with Disabilities Who Wish to Obtain Accommodations for a Course

Students with disabilities who wish to obtain an accommodation or auxiliary aid for a course or program at the University, must contact the University’s Counseling/Personal Development Office. In New York, call x11526. In Pleasantville and White Plains, call x33710. Trained professional counselors will:

Evaluate a student's medical documentation; conduct appropriate tests or refer the student for same; make recommendations for a plan of accommodation; and contact professors and pertinent administrators (with the student’s permission) to arrange for the recommended accommodations.

Professors are not authorized to provide accommodations or aids prior to a student’s arranging for same through the Counseling/Personal Development Center. Professors are not authorized to contact the Counseling/Personal Development Center on a student’s behalf. Students must contact the Counseling/Personal Development Center directly in order for the University to be placed on notice of a request for accommodation. In order to insure that the Counseling/Personal Center has sufficient time to process student requests, students should contact the Center at the earliest possible time, in advance of the need for the accommodation, preferably before the semester begins. For more information consult the Counseling Services Web site.

Following this procedure will ensure timely and efficient handling of requests for accommodation or auxiliary aids.

Procedure for Students Who will be Absent for an Extended Time

Students who are ill or will be out for an extended amount of time are responsible for contacting each of their professors and for making up all work that is missed.  Students are also urged to notify the Dean's Office of all extended absences.

Policy for Incomplete Work and Receiving a Grade of “I”

Students are responsible for completing and submitting all course work by the deadlines indicated by the instructor. It is at the discretion of the instructor to assign a grade of “I” to a student who, for documented reasons, cannot complete the required course work prior to the end of the term. The instructor determines the amount of time allotted to complete the course work, up to a maximum of six weeks. 

It should be noted that receiving a grade of “I” might affect a student’s financial aid package and/or graduation status.

Policy Regarding Academic Integrity of the School of CSIS

1. Definition.

Students must accept the responsibility to be honest and to respect ethical standards in meeting their academic requirements. Integrity in the academic life requires that students demonstrate intellectual and academic achievement independent of all assistance except that authorized by the instructor. The following constitute academic dishonesty.  The list is not necessarily inclusive.

a.       Exams

                                i.            Copying from another student's exam.

                              ii.            Deliberately allowing other students to see and copy from your exam.

                            iii.            Using notes or calculators without permission from the professor or proctor.

                            iv.            Passing notes or calculators to other students without permission.

b.      Papers and projects

                                i.            Using others’ writing without proper reference.

                              ii.            Copying code or work from other students outside a team environment. This could be either from printouts and notes or from electronic media. This includes copying the structure of a program while changing cosmetic details such as identifiers and comments.

                            iii.            Deliberately allowing other students to copy your code or work, again either from printouts, notes or from electronic media. (This does not preclude a student “helping” another on a project as long as it is limited to giving information/hints and not code/solutions.)

                            iv.            Submitting a paper, program, or project that was done by someone else.

                              v.            Collaboration with one or more other students without the prior permission of the instructor.

2. Consequences.

The following consequences will be affected:

a.       The first student offense may result, at the discretion of the instructor, in penalties including a zero on the offending course work or an F for the offending course.

b.      The second student offense in any course may result in an F for the offending course.

c.       The third student offense in any course may result in dismissal from the University.

d.      The Dean's office shall keep a student record of all student offenses occurring in courses offered by the School of CSIS including the first offense. This record will be destroyed when the student graduates from the University. The record will be associated with the student and not with any particular course.

3. Procedures for determining an offense.

The following procedures will be used:

a.       If the student admits to the offense, the appropriate penalty shall be enforced.

b.      If the student contests the charge, the Chair of the department in which the course was offered will make a decision as to the facts of the case. If the professor is also the Chair, this step could be skipped.

c.       If the student disagrees with the Chair's decision, he or she may request a hearing from the Undergraduate or Graduate Scholastic Standing Committee, depending upon the student's status. The Committee shall make a recommendation to the Dean concerning the facts of the case.

d.      Both the professor and the student may submit to the Committee relevant information in writing. The professor and/or the student also may appear before the committee, but usually not concurrently. No others may attend the Committee hearing, but the Committee may also consider the written statement of witnesses and other concerned persons.

e.       The decision of the Dean shall be final.

f.       A confirmed student offense shall be entered into the student’s record in the Dean’s office.



The university disabilities statement must be added to all syllabi:


Procedure for students with disabilities who wish to obtain reasonable accommodations for a course:

The University's commitment to equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities includes providing reasonable accommodations for the needs of students with disabilities. To request an a reasonable accommodation for a qualified disability a student with a disability must self-identify and register with the Office of Disability Services for his or her campus. No one, including faculty, is authorized to evaluate the need for or grant a request for an accommodation except the Office of Disability Services. Moreover, no one, including faculty, is authorized to contact the Office of Disability Services on behalf of a student. For further information, please see Resources for Students with Disabilities at