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9780136108047

Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective (2nd Edition)

Bryant, Randal E.; O'Hallaron, David R. Author

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For Computer Systems, Computer Organization and Architecture courses in CS, EE, and ECE departments.


Few students studying computer science or computer engineering will ever have the opportunity to build a computer system. On the other hand, most students will be required to use and program computers on a near daily basis. Computer Systems: A Programmer’s Perspective introduces the important and enduring concepts that underlie computer systems by showing how these ideas affect the correctness, performance, and utility of application programs. The text's hands-on approach (including a comprehensive set of labs) helps students understand the “under-the-hood” operation of a modern computer system and prepares them for future courses in systems topics such as compilers, computer architecture, operating systems, and networking.

Visit the CSS:AP web page http://csapp.cs.cmu.edu for more information and resources.

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From the Back Cover:

Bryant and O'Halloran explain the important and enduring concepts underlying all computer systems, and show the concrete ways that these ideas affect the correctness, performance, and utility of application programs. The book's concrete and hands-on approach will help readers understand what is going on “under the hood of a computer system.
This book focuses on the key concepts of basic network programming, program structure and execution, running programs on a system, and interaction and communication between programs.
For anyone interested in computer organization and architecture as well as computer systems.

About the Author:

Randal E. Bryant received the Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 1973 and then attended graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving the Ph.D. degree in computer science in 1981. He spent three years as an Assistant Professor at the California Institute of Technology and has been on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon since 1984. He is currently the President's Professor of Computer Science and head of the Department of Computer Science. He also holds a courtesy appointment with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.


He has taught courses in computer systems at both the undergraduate and graduate level for over 20 years. Over many years of teaching computer architecture courses, he began shifting the focus from how computers are designed to one of how programmers can write more efficient and reliable programs if they understand the system better. Together with Prof. O'Hallaron, he developed the course "Introduction to Computer Systems" at Carnegie Mellon that is the basis for this book. He has also taught courses in algorithms and programming.

Prof. Bryant's research concerns the design of software tools to help hardware designers verify the correctness of their systems. These include several types of simulators, as well as formal verification tools that prove the correctness of a design using mathematical methods. He has published over 100 technical papers. His research results are used by major computer manufacturers including Intel, Motorola, IBM, and Fujitsu. He has won several major awards for his research. These include two inventor recognition awards and a technical achievement award from the Semiconductor Research Corporation, the Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award from the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM), and the W. R. G. Baker Award and a Golden Jubilee Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He is a Fellow of both the ACM and the IEEE.


David R. O'Hallaron received the Ph.D. degree in computer science from the University of Virginia in 1986. After a stint at General Electric, he joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty in 1989 as a Systems Scientist. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Departments of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering.


He has taught computer systems courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, on such topics as computer architecture, introductory computer systems, parallel processor design, and Internet services. Together with Prof. Bryant, he developed the course "Introduction to Computer Systems" that is the basis for this book.


Prof. O'Hallaron and his students perform research in the area of computer -systems. In particular, they develop software systems to help scientists and engineers simulate nature on computers. The best known example of their work is the Quake project, a group of computer scientists, civil engineers, and seismologists who have developed the ability to predict the motion of the ground during strong earthquakes, including major quakes in Southern California, Kobe, Japan, Mexico, and New Zealand. Along with the other members of the Quake Project, he received the Allen Newell Medal for Research Excellence from the CMU School of Computer Science. A benchmark he developed for the Quake project, 183.equake, was selected by SPEC for inclusion in the influential SPEC CPU and OMP (Open MP) benchmark suites.

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