This course will focus on the basics of computer organization and architecture. Topics include: Boolean algebra, combinational and sequential circuit design, storage mechanisms and their organization, the instruction cycle in a simple CPU, and the role of assembly language in understanding the hardware/software interface. (3 credits)
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Upon completion of this course, the student is expected to be able to:
- Identify the basic computer components and describe their functions, interpret common computer terminology, summarize the historical development phases of computer, classify computer level hierarchy, and define the von Neumann model and other Non-von Neumann models.
- Convert between decimal numbers and binary numbers, discuss the three major integer representation systems used in modern computers and their applications in simple arithmetic operations, apply the IEEE floating point standard in real number representation.
- Understand Boolean algebra and interpret Boolean expressions, master the concepts of basic gates and digital circuits, translate between Boolean algebra and digital circuits, examine the various examples of combinational circuits, understand the difference between combinational and sequential circuits, master the concept of flip-flops and understand the presented examples of sequential circuits.
- Describe the basic CPU components and the interaction between these components, understand the role of system clock in CPU function, be familiar with the CPU architecture of MARIE: a sample machine architecture, understand how memory is addressed in MARIE, understand the fetch-decode-execute instruction cycle, apply the MARIE instruction sets to interpret simple assembly program(s), understand the role that assembly language plays between hardware and high level languages.
- Distinguish various types of memory, be knowledgeable of memory hierarchy, understand direct mapping, associative mapping and set-associative mapping techniques for cache, and describe paging and the application of virtual memory.
- Differentiate between RISC and CISC machines, identify some Non-con Neumann architectures such as parallel processors and distributed computing.
General Education Outcomes (GEOs)
Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.
Course Activities and Grading
Discussions (Weeks 1-7)
Tests (Week 1-7)
Midterm Exam (Week 4)
Final Exam (Week 8)
Available through Charter Oak State College's online bookstore
- Null, Linda. Essentials of Computer Organization Design and Architecture. 5th ed. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2019. ISBN-13: 9781284123036
- MS Windows or Mac OS
Readings and Exercises
Data Representation in Computer Systems
Boolean Algebra and Combinational Circuits
Sequential Circuits and CPU Basic
CPU Instruction Cycles and Assembly Language
Overview and Final Exam
COSC Accessibility Statement
Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.
COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources
Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.