CMSC 22200: Computer Architecture

University of Chicago, Autumn 2015


This syllabus, last updated October 12, shows my plans for the course. I have posted it on the web to facilitate updates over the span of the quarter. I reserve the right to make changes; for instance, I may rearrange or change lecture topics in response to student interests.

Course Staff

Instructor: Matthew Wachs
Email: mwachs
Office: RY 175-A
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday after class and Wednesday, 2:30-3:30pm. (note that I am coming from another class at 2:30pm on Wednesdays and may be late if there are a number of questions after class) (Other times by appointment.)

TA: Yi Ding
Office: RY 253-A
Office Hours: Monday 10:30-11:30am; Wednesday 3:30-4:30pm

TA: Guangpu Li
Office Hours held in RY 255
Office Hours: Friday 9-10am; Friday 2-3pm

TA: Lang Yu
Office: RY 254
Office Hours: Tuesday, 2-3pm; Thursday 3-4pm

Meeting Times

Lecture: TR 9:00am-10:20am, RY 251

Course Components

The course consists of:


This course is about Computer Architecture: how we design persistent interfaces at the boundary of software and hardware, and how we then create performant, cost-effective, and power-efficient implementations of them in hardware. We will also explore the current challenges in the field and how computer architects are working to overcome them. See the schedule below for a lecture-by-lecture topic list.

Tentative Schedule

Academic Honesty

The University's rules on academic honesty apply to this course and will be rigorously and rigidly enforced. If you have any doubts, questions, or concerns, please ask, and be sure to do so in advance.


This course uses Computer Organization and Design by Patterson and Hennessy. The current edition is the 5th edition, and note that section numbers and homework exercises may not correspond in previous editions, so you will want to have access to the latest copy.