CSC 406 Systems I

Ljubomir Perkovic

Office: CDM 713
Fall 2019-2020
Class number: 13026
Section number: 710
ONLIN E0000 Online Campus


This course is the first of a two-course sequence covering the concepts underlying all computer systems and how they affect the correctness, performance, and utility of application programming. This course focuses on C programming and machine representation of information and programs.


Bryant & O'Hallaron, Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective, 3rd Edition, Prentice Hall/Pearson, 2016. ISBN: 9780134092669

Kochan, Programming in C, 4th Edition, Prentice Hall/Pearson, 2015. ISBN: 9780321776419


The course grade will be apportioned as follows:

homeworks 20%
labs 30%
midterm exam 25%
final exam 25%

There will be a total of 5 homeworks, but only your best 4 count toward the final grade, so you may miss one homework with no penalty. Each homework assignment will consist of several short programming assignments and/or conceptual problems. There will also be a total of 3 labs, each a major assignment involving long hours of technical work. All homeworks and labs must be submitted by the deadline and no later. Any homework or lab not handed in by the deadline will receive 0 points, without any exceptions.

To do well in this course, you should follow the class regularly, participate in the discussion, read the chapters in the book each week as indicated in the homework assignments, start working on the homework and labs early, and talk to me promptly if you have any problems. The answers to the homework and exam questions, as well as your code, should be written in a way that is rigorous, clear and concise.


You must have taken CSC 401 or an equivalent intro to programming course. I will assume that:

  • You know how to create, debug, compile and run programs in a general-purpose language (Python, Java, C, C++,...) and use a reasonable programming style (i.e. your code is easy to read and concise).
  • You know how to use basic data types (integer, boolean, and string) including fundamental container data types (arrays or lists).
  • Your are familiar with execution control structures such as if/else, for, and while statements.
  • You are familiar with basic formal logic.

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296