The Elements of Computing Systems: Building a Modern Computer from First Principles

By | November 27, 2017
The Elements of Computing Systems: Building a Modern Computer from First Principles Author Noam Nisan
ISBN-10 0262640686
ISBN-13 9780262640688
Year 2005-03-31
Pages 344
Language English
Publisher The MIT Press
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In the early days of computer science the interactions of hardware software compilers and operating system were simple enough to allow students to see an overall picture of how computers worked With the increasing complexity of computer technology and the resulting specialization of knowledge such clarity is often lost Unlike other texts that cover only one aspect of the field The Elements of Computing Systems gives students an integrated and rigorous picture of applied computer science as its comes to play in the construction of a simple yet powerful computer system Indeed the best way to understand how computers work is to build one from scratch and this textbook leads students through twelve chapters and projects that gradually build a basic hardware platform and a modern software hierarchy from the ground up In the process the students gain hands on knowledge of hardware architecture operating systems programming languages compilers data structures algorithms and software engineering Using this constructive approach the book exposes a significant body of computer science knowledge and demonstrates how theoretical and applied techniques taught in other courses fit into the overall picture Designed to support one or two semester courses the book is based on an abstraction implementation paradigm each chapter presents a key hardware or software abstraction a proposed implementation that makes it concrete and an actual project The emerging computer system can be built by following the chapters although this is only one option since the projects are self contained and can be done or skipped in any order All the computer science knowledge necessary for completing the projects is embedded in the book the only pre requisite being a programming experience The book s web site provides all tools and materials necessary to build all the hardware and software systems described in the text including two hundred test programs for the twelve projects The projects and systems can be modified to meet various teaching needs and all the supplied software is open source

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