Course Information

About

This course gives a solid understanding of the principles and abstractions used in computer systems and machine programs using C. Towards this aim, it covers a broad range of topics, providing students with an in-depth perspective and programming experience regarding the basic topics of C language and how programs are formed and executed at the microprocessor-level.

Upon the completion of COMP201, student will be able to (1) demonstrate proficiency in writing C programs that require effective memory management, (2) gain a deep knowledge of the compilation flow and runtime behavior of C programs, (3) have a clear understanding of computer arithmetic in a modern computing system, (4) recognize the relationship between a C program and its assembly translation, and (5) gain a general sense of working in a Unix environment as a power user, getting familiar with shell tools, version control systems, compilers, debuggers, profilers.

The course is taught by Aykut Erdem - the teaching assistants are Ahmed Imam Shah, Amir Mohamad Akhlaghi Gharelar, Farzin Negahbani , Mandana Bagheri Marzijarani, Muhammad Aditya Sasongkoand, and Samet Demir.

                          
                 

Time and Location

Lectures: Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 14:00-14:50 online via Zoom)
Labs: Monday (Lab A), Wednesday (Lab B) at 19:00-19:50, Thursday (Lab C) at 20:00-20:50 (online via Zoom)

Reference Books

Policies: All work on assignments must be done individually unless stated otherwise. You are encouraged to discuss with your classmates about the given assignments, but these discussions should be carried out in an abstract way. That is, discussions related to a particular solution to a specific problem (either in actual code or in the pseudocode) will not be tolerated.

In short, turning in someone else’s work, in whole or in part, as your own will be considered as a violation of academic integrity. Please note that the former condition also holds for the material found on the web as everything on the web has been written by someone else.

Communication

The course webpage will be updated regularly throughout the semester with lecture notes, presentations, assignments and important deadlines. All other course related communications will be carried out through Blackboard.

Pre-requisites

COMP201 is open to second-year undergraduate students. Non-COMP students should ask the course instructor for approval before the add/drop period. The prerequisites for this course is COMP 132 - Advanced Programming.

Course Requirements and Grading

Grading will be based on

Schedule

Date Topic Notes
Oct 5 Introduction. Course logistics (slides) (video) Additional Reading: The Strange Birth and Long Life of Unix, Warren Toomey, IEEE Spectrum, 28 Nov 2011
Oct 7 A tour of C programs, Bits and Bytes (slides) (code) (video)
Assg0 out: Getting Started with Unix and C
B&O 1
Oct 9 Integer representations and integer arithmetic (slides) (code) (video) B&O 2.2-2.3

Additional Readings:
Oct 5,7,8 Bootcamp: Programming with C (slides) (video)
Oct 12 Bits and Bitwise Operators (slides) (code) (video) B&O 2.1
Oct 14 Floating point (slides) B&O 2.4
Additional Reading: What Every Computer Scientist Should Know About Floating-Point Arithmetic, David Goldberg, ACM Computing Surveys, 23(1), 1991

Demos:
Oct 16 More floating point (slides) (code) (video)
Assg0 in, Assg1 out: Manipulating Bits
B&O 2.4
Demos:
Oct 12,14,15 Lab 1: The Linux Shell (slides) MIT MS The Shell
Stanford CS107 Unix videos 1-15, 24, 25
Oct 19 Chars and Strings in C (slides) (code) (video) K&R 1.9, 5.5, Appx B3
Oct 21 More Strings in C, Pointers (slides) (code) (video) K&R 5.1, Essential C 3 (strings and string.h library functions)
Oct 23 Strings in Memory (slides) (code) K&R 1.6, 5.5, Essential C 3 (The mechanics of pointers and arrays)
Oct 19,21,22 Lab 2: Bits, Ints and Floats, Vim (slides) MIT MS Editors (Vim)
Stanford CS107 Unix videos 28
Oct 26 Arrays and Pointers (slides) (code) (video) K&R 5.2-5.5, Essential C 6 (Advanced pointers)
Oct 28 No class (Republic Day)
Assg1 in, Assg2 out: Strings in C
Oct 30 The Stack and The Heap (slides) (video) K&R 5.6-5.9, Essential C 6 (The heap)
Oct 26,28,29 No labs this week (Republic Day)
Nov 2 Other Heap Allocations, realloc (slides) (code) (video) K&R 5.6-5.9, Essential C 6 (The Heap)
Nov 4 Generics (slides) (code) (video) K&R 5.6-5.9, Essential C 6 (The Heap)
Nov 6 Function Pointers (slides) (code) (video) K&R 5.11
Nov 2,4,5 Lab 3: C-Strings and Valgrind (slides) Stanford CS107 Unix videos 26
Nov 9 More Function Pointers, const (slides) (code) (video) K&R 5.11, A1
Nov 11 Structures (slides) (code) (video)
Assg2 in, Assg3 out: Heap Management
K&R 6.1-6.7
Nov 13 Compiling C programs (slides) (code) (video) Stanford Unix Programming Tools 1
Nov 9,11,12 Lab 4: Arrays/Pointers and GDB (slides) Stanford CS107 Unix videos 27
Harvard CS50 short on GDB
Nov 16 Intro to x86-64 (slides) (code) (video) B&O 3.1-3.3
Additional reading:
An Introduction to 64-bit Computing and x86-64,
Jon Stokes, arstechnica.com, 2002
Nov 18 Data Movement (slides) (video) B&O 3.4
Additional reading:
The story of Mel (Annotated version)
Nov 20 Arithmetic and Logic Operations (slides) (video) B&O 3.5
Nov 16,18,19 Lab 5: Working with multiple files, writing your own Makefiles (slides)
Nov 23 Assembly Execution and %rip (slides) (video) B&O 3.6.1-3.6.2
Nov 25 x86-64 Control Flow (slides) (video) B&O 3.6.3-3.6.8
Nov 27 More Control Flow
Assg3 in, Assg4 out: Defusing a Binary Bomb
B&O 3.6.3-3.6.8
Nov 23,25,26 Lab 6: Machine Programming with Assembly (slides)
Nov 30 x86-64 Procedures B&O 3.7
Dec 2 More x86-64 Procedures B&O 3.7
Dec 4 Procedures Data and Stack Frames B&O 3.8-3.9
Nov 30, Dec 2,3 No lab this week
Midterm Exam
Dec 7 Security Vulnerabilities B&O 3.10
Dec 9 The Memory hierarchy B&O 6.1-6.3
Dec 11 More Memory hierarchy
Assg4 in, Assg5 out: Buffer Overflow Bugs
B&O 6.1-6.3
Dec 7,9,10 Lab 7: Runtime Stack
Dec 14 Cache Memories B&O 6.4-6.7
Dec 16 Debugging
Dec 18 Design
Dec 14,16,17 No lab this week
Dec 21 Code Optimization B&O 5
Dec 23 Linking B&O 7
Dec 25 More on linking
Assg5 in, Assg6 out: Cache Memories
B&O 7
Dec 21,23,24 Lab 8: Memory organization
Dec 28 Dynamic Memory Allocation B&O 9.9
Dec 30 More Dynamic Memory Allocation B&O 9.10-9.13
Jan 1 No class - New years day
Dec 28,30,31 Lab 9: Profiling, Code and Memory Optimization MIT MS Debugging and Profiling
(only the part on profiling)
Jan 4 Wrap-up
Jan 6 What’s next
Jan 8 No lecture
Assg6 in
Jan 4,6,7 Lab 10: Dealing with the Heap
Final Exam