ITE 225: Computer Organization

Course Description

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)


  • None

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Upon completion of this course, the student is expected to be able to:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Differentiate between RISC and CISC machines, identify some Non-con Neumann architectures such as parallel processors and distributed computing.

Course Activities and Grading


Discussions (Weeks 1-7)


Tests (Week 1-7)


Midterm Exam (Week 4)


Final Exam (Week 8)




Required Textbooks

Available through Charter Oak State College's Book Bundle

  • Null, Linda. Essentials of Computer Organization Design and Architecture. 5th ed. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2019. ISBN-13: 9781284123036

Computer Specifications

  • MS Windows or Mac OS

Course Schedule



Readings and Exercises





  • Chapter 1
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Conduct the required activities
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete the assigned project 1
  • Participate in discussion 1



Data Representation in Computer Systems

  • Chapter 2
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete project 2
  • Participate in discussion 2



Boolean Algebra and Combinational Circuits

  • Chapter 3 (pp 121-144)
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete project 3
  • Participate in discussion 3



Sequential Circuits and CPU Basic

  • Chapter 3 (pp 145-194)
  • Chapter 4 (pp 195-208)
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Take the practice quiz (not graded)
  • Take the Midterm Exam

Midterm Exam
Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4 (pp 195-208)
SLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.



CPU Instruction Cycles and Assembly Language

  • Chapter 4 (pp 209-268) 
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete project 4
  • Participate in discussion 4




  • Chapter 6 (pp 313-366)
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete project 5
  • Participate in discussion 5



Alternative Architectures

  • Chapter 9 (pp 505-548)
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete project 6
  • Participate in discussion 6



Overview and Final Exam
Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 & 9
SLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6

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

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.