CSC 252/452 Computer Organization


CSC 252/452 Computer Organization (also TCS 452 )
Sreepathi Pai
MW 15:25--16:40 in Wegmans 1400
Office Location
Wegmans Hall 3409
Office Hours
Monday 16:40 to 17:40, Wednesday 16:40 to 17:40 (i.e. right after class)
T.A. Office Hours
See below
Final Exam Date
Monday December 19, 2022, 8:30AM to 11:30AM, Wegmans 1400

Academic Honesty

All assignments and activities associated with this course must be performed in accordance with the University of Rochester's Academic Honesty Policy. More information is available at:


The famed science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke once said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. While computers are sufficiently advanced, this course will attempt to "demagic-ify" them. We will study how computers have been built from ground up, and why the digital universe behaves the way it does. This course is the foundation of nearly all work in computer systems, the area of computer science that actually breathes life into computation and gives it an existence independent of us. In this course, we will be most concerned with the ``inner life'' of programs as they live in the digital universe we have created.


  1. Learn to build next-generation computers: This goal requires understanding the designs of current computers that this course will introduce.
  2. Learn to make current computers do next-generation things: Programs that implement tasks like artificial intelligence push computers to their performance limits, and this course will familiarize you with those limits and how to write programs that approach those limits.

Ultimately, the goal of this course is to make you a better programmer by teaching you about the internals of modern computers.

For more details, read the syllabus.

TAs and their office hours

Yuesong Huang (Undergraduate TA)
yhu116 at u dot rochester dot edu
Friday 12:00PM to 1:00PM in Wegmans 2215
Chengkai Kang (Undergraduate TA)
ckang12 at u dot rochester dot edu
Tuesdays 3:30PM to 4:30PM in Wegmans 2215
Zihao Lin (Undergraduate TA)
zlin22 at u dot rochester dot edu
Tuesdays 5:00PM to 6:00PM in Hylan 301
Suumil Roy (Graduate TA)
Thursdays 3PM to 4PM in Wegmans 2215
Simon Schiller (Undergraduate TA)
sschill2 u dot rochester dot edu
Thursdays 12:30PM to 1:30PM in Wegmans 2215
Nisarg Ujjainkar (Graduate TA)
nujjaink at ur dot rochester dot edu
Tuesdays 11:30AM to 12:30PM in Wegmans 3207
Phuong Vu (Undergraduate TA)
pvu3 at u dot rochester dot edu
Mondays 10:30AM to 11:30AM in Wegmans 2215

Previous Incarnations of this Course

  • Spring 2022 (Prof. Yuhao Zhu)
  • Fall 2021 (Alan Beadle)
  • Fall 2019 (Prof. Sreepathi Pai)