CSC 5593 Advanced Computer Architecture
Professor Gita Alaghband

Tentative Syllabus,
Academic Calendar Spring 2018 Deadlines
I may change this syllabus somewhat; relevant announcements will be made in class.




All you emails must have CSC5593 in the subject field; otherwise, I may lose your message.


Office Hours:

Subject to change, I will notify you of change and update this site.

T-TR               1:00 - 3:00     Graduate Advising by appointment only.
                                       Appointments are made through CSE Office at 303-315- 1411
Tuesdays        3:00 - 3:30
Thursdays      3:00 - 3:30  or following class if needed


Important concepts in the structural design of computer systems are covered. Topics include memory hierarchy, super pipelining and super scalar techniques, dynamic execution, vector computers and multiprocessors.


Main Textbook: Hennessey and Patterson, Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, 5th Ed., 2011     ISBN: ISBN: 978-0-12-383872-8(Book)       
Excellent Reference Book: J.P. Shen & M. Lipasti “Modern Processor Design: Fundamentals of Superscalar Processors”, McGraw-Hill, 2005     ISBN: 0-07-057064-7

Expected Prerequisites:

Graduate Standing  in Computer Science (no undergraduate deficiencies)

Topics Covered in the Course:

some adjustments to these topics may be made during the semester

Introduction and Review
Fundamentals of Computer Architecture
Basic Pipelining
Pipelining, Performance,
Virtual Memory,
Cost, Ics
Instruction Level Parallelism (ILP),
 Dynamic Execution,
Multiprocessors & Multicore, cache coherence

Papers from Literature on advances in computer architectures fields
The following are excellent topics for research presentations:
Multi-Core, Cache  Coherence Protocols
, Synchronization Mechnisms, Networks and Clusters, SMT




Research Proposal & Presentation  *


Peer Reviews


Project Proposal & Implementation & Presentation (related to Research Topic) *


In-class Quizzes based on Lectures, HW and Labs (approximately 3 )


 * Final Exam (if research/project proposals are not accepted)

Final Grade Assignment

Final Grade

Total points


90 - 100


80 - 89


70 - 79


60 - 69


0 - 59



  • Research/Project/ideas & Guidelines
  • Past Student Projects
  • Some Interesting Reading References, Tools, Simulators, Traces, Resources
  • Workload: This course is based on students ability to build on fundamental concepts covered in class/lectures and to learn new related topics in advanced computer architectures, build experiments to demonstrate architectural concepts, and reason through design stages and analyze the outcomes. Students should be prepared to work independently and in teams. Estimated workload for well prepared students for this course is on average nine hours/week outside class time.
  • Homework assignments/Participation: Homework/Lab assignments will have a relatively light load and are mainly to encourage thinking and class participation. Class discussions and participation are essential components of this course. We will have class participation in solving homework problems as well. Homework solutions that are not discussed in class may be provided to you.
  • In-class Quizzes: will be based on lectures, HW assignments, and Labs. These exams will be individual, and maybe closed book and notes as indicated on each quiz. No electronic devices may be used for any of the quizzes.
  • Research Presentation: Select a topic in computer architecture based on your interest to study in depth in preparation for your project implementation and present it to class (requires a research proposal to lead to project implementation). 
  • Peer Reviews: Students may be involved in grading homework and reviews of research presentations and project implementation/presentation (see guide and forms in the next segment).
  • Project Implementation/Presentations:Select a project that you will implement throughout the semester and will report your findings to class (requires a Research & Project proposal (which includes a refinement of the Research Proposal). All projects must include proof of correctness and demonstration. Every team-member is required to have knowledge of all aspects of the project. All projects must be available and work on available campus computers for peer review and testing. Note that your proposal must specifiy your implementations and learning outcome expaectations with respect to architectural issues.
  • Final Exam: In case research/project proposals do not meet the class requirements, students will take a final exam which will cover key knowledge covered (and presented) throught the course. Those taking the final exam are required to participate in all classes and peer reviews, but will not be scheduled for presentations.
  • No Computers During Lectures: please do not use your computers during lectures. You may print the slides ahead of times and add your own notes in class during lectures.
  • Student Honor Code: We will adhere to the College of Engineering and Applied Science Students' Honor Code. Please make sure you have read the Honors Code and are familiar with it. 
  • All deadlines must be met.
  •  All work must be presented/submitted in your own words. References must be provided to indicate the source of information/knowledge.
  • It is important to attend class regularly. Students are responsible for missed classes. I will try to have my notes available, but attending class is the main source of information.

Tentative Course Schedule

January     16

Classes Begin

March        13

Research and Project Proposals Due (complete with references, teams of three, email one/team)

March         19 - 25

Spring Break

March          27

Seminar Presentations Start
(We may change this date depending on class size)
  Reports and Team-member peer reviews Are Due at The Time of Presentation,
(Email electronic copy of your slides/Power point with annotated
 notes and complete references)
 Peer Reviews Due Next Class Period (Typed Form).

April           12

Project Presentations Start, use the project review guide   for your reviews.
(We may change this date depending on class size)

May            8

All work due (Final Exam for those taking the exam)