(my email is just my first name followed by the @ symbol followed by cs.wisc.edu)
Office: 7357 Computer Sciences
Office Hours: TBA
Office Hours: TBA
Office Phone: TBA
This course assumes familiarity with basic computer organization (e.g., processors, memory, and I/O devices as covered in cs354) and data structures (e.g., stacks and hash tables). You will need to be able to program in C to perform the assignments in the course. If you don't have much experience in either language, don't worry, we will spend some time covering background, but of course, learning on your own is important and valuable (in this class and in real life). For those of you who are new to C (e.g., you just know Java), realize this is an opportunity to broaden your skill set!
The mailing list for the course is
Any mail sent to this list will be sent to the entire course. The log of email is available at
The mailing list for project questions is
Any mail sent to this list will go to the professor and TA. During project times, it may be wise to peruse the mail log, which can be found
Any of these books are fine:
You must use C on the system programming assignments in the class. The best C book in the world is
Kernighan and Ritchie's
The C Programming Language.
It is worth purchasing. Also useful is
Expert C Programming
Peter Van der Linden.
Finally, if you are interested in mastering the Unix programming environment, the absolute bible is
Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment
by the late, great
W. Richard Stevens.
Buy this book too; it is worth every penny.
Here is a short, free overview of the C programming environment by y.t., available for your viewing convenience in both
New Unix users and novice Unix users new to the CSL Unix facilities are encouraged to attend an orientation session as early in the semester as possible. You may also purchase a copy of
(An Introductory Manual to the Unix Operating System and the Computer Sciences Department's Instructional Computing Environment) at the DoIT Tech Store (first floor of the Computer Sciences and Statistics Building).
The projects are a fundamental part of this course. Although the first assignment will be relatively easy, the remaining projects each require a significant amount of time, so
do not procrastinate!
It is likely things will take longer than you expect. Do not wait until the day before the assignment is due to start. These assignments should be
started well over a week
before they are due. All information necessary to complete the assignments will be available from the class web page.
If you plan to perform software or hardware development after graduation, you will need to know how to work well within a group. Therefore, for all projects after the first assignment, we will assign you to groups of two students. Team members will all receive the same grade on the programming assignments.
As stated above, all of the assignments will be in C and not Java. We assume that you have enough programming background that learning the basics of a new language (if it is indeed new to you) will not be difficult. C is actually quite similar to Java, as those who came up with Java were C experts.
For the projects, you will be graded on how well your implementation works. We will test your program on a suite of input sets. Your grade will be based on how many of the tests your application passes and how well you are able to answer our questions about the program; we will only briefly examine your code to ensure that you followed the specifications of the assignment.
Questions about projects should be sent to
Those queries (and responses) are archived at
will be held Thursday, March 14,
a single page "cheat sheet" (8.5 by 11 inches) is allowed, and you can use both sides; exams are otherwise