COSI 131a: Fall 2016
Computer Structures and Organization

Course Objectives and Outcomes



This course is an introduction to computer systems organization and operating systems. The objectives of the course are for you to learn three things:



Tentative class schedule (Please see LATTE).

Lecture Slides

Lecture slides will be posted on LATTE.


Java Tutorial


Please refer to LATTE for assignments, due dates, and submit all work via LATTE.


Abelson-Bass-Yalem Physics 131
Tuesday and Friday 11:00-12:20pm


Prof. Liuba Shrira

Volen 260, x62704
Office Hours
Tue 2-3pm and by appointment


Nikos Tsikoudis, email:
Dimos Stamatakis, email:
Wesley Wei Qian, email:
Benjamin Lim, email:
Chungyuk Takahashi, email:

All TAs will hold their office hours in The Vertica lounge.

The schedule is posted on LATTE

Course Requirements


There will be six problem sets (i.e., written assignments) and three programming assignments. Both problem sets and programming assignments will be announced in class and posted on LATTE (Brandeis' online courseware). You will also use LATTE to submit your assignments.

Here are the instructions for how to submit your programming assignments.



COSI 12b or 21a. You should have familiarity with Linux and Java. All programming assignments will be written in Java and must run on a Linux box (do not rely on the portability of Java!).



There will be two or three in-class quizes (see the schedule). There is no final exam.


Grades will be apportioned roughly as follows:

CategoryWeight (%)
Problem Sets10
Programming Assignments45
Quiz 115
Quiz 215
Quiz 315

Late Policy

Each student has 2 free late days which can be applied to any of the assignments. This means that all assignments can be late by a cumulative total of 2 days without penalty. You will need to tell us if you have used your late days.

After the 2 days are exhausted, each additional day (or fraction thereoff that an assignment is late will come with a significant grade penalty on that assignment.
Days LatePenalty
3+10% + 10% each additional day
7+No credit

A "day" is defined as the 24-hour period following the time that an assignment is due. Weekends do not count towards the number of days late.

For example, once you have exausted your 2 free late days, and an assignment is due on a Tuesday at 11:55pm, and you turn it in the following Monday before 11:55pm, it will be 4 days late (Wednesday + Thursday + Friday + Monday = 4), so the late penalty will be to subtract 35% of the possible score from your score.


There will be an introductory Tutorial/Review for each project. The tutorials are not mandatory but highly recommended. The date and time of the tutorial will be announced in advance in the the lecture and also posted on LATTE close to the tutorial date once the room is finalized. Typically, the tutorials run in the evening 7-9 pm and are recorded as a back up for students who have a conflict and can not attend.

Students with Disabilities

If you are a student with a documented disability on record at Brandeis University and wish to have a reasonable accommodation made for you in this class, please see Prof. Shrira immediately.