• Instructor: Linh B. Ngo

  • Office: UNA 138

  • Office Hours:

    • MWF 8:00AM-9:00AM (in-person and online)

    • TR 11:00AM-12:00PM (online)

    • Online Zoom link is posted in D2L’s announcement page

  • Email: lngo AT wcupa DOT edu

  • Phone: 610-436-2595

West Chester University’s COVID-19 Classroom Protection Requirements#

We, as a community of educators and learners, should work together to create a culture that protects our most precious resource: each other. As such, it is the expectation of all members of the University community to continue to do their part to protect the health and safety of others. In our classrooms where the university’s primary function is carried out, the following protocols are being implemented:

  • Unless otherwise directed by the faculty member, students must wear a cloth or disposable face mask that covers both the nose and mouth the entire time they are in class.

    • Face shields and gaiters do not meet the university’s mask requirement.

  • Eating and drinking in the classroom are only permitted if they are medically necessary.

    • Please work with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities to notify the university and your professors of this necessity.

We want you to succeed in this class, but we will have to ask you to leave if you do not follow these guidelines, so please – make the most of this opportunity and help keep our campus safe.

Course Description#

In this course, we will learn fundamental concepts of modern computer systems. Unlike courses in Computer Organizations, Operating Systems, and Computer Architecture, we will be approaching these concepts from the perspective of system users rather than system builders. This will help us to understand how various computer system components, including CPU, memory, storage, and networking, work. Throughout the course, we will learn to use assembler language and C language to explore and observe specifically how computer systems interpret and execute programs. With the knowledge learned from this course, you will be able to build programs that are more efficient and have better performance.

Learning Objectives#

Certificate in Computer Security Program Outcomes#

  1. Analyze and resolve security issues in network and computer systems to secure an IT infrastructure

Course Topics:#

  • Hardware/software interfaces and interactions

    • Layered services design

  • Low level programming languages (C, Assembly, etc.)

    • Programming to operating systems internal interfaces

  • Memory hierarchy

    • Programming direct control of memory access

    • Managing memory in systems software

  • Optimizing program performance

    • Resource optimization

    • Resource management

  • Different types of systems programs

    • Operating Systems

    • Networking Functions

    • Development environments

  • Security concerns in systems software

Artifacts used to demonstrate Student Learning Outcomes:#

  • Assignments: In writing and running programs and measuring execution performances, students will be assessed on SLO1.

    • Writing introductory C codes that demonstrate understanding of the language.

    • Writing C codes that demonstrate understanding and the ability to manipulate the byte-representation of different data types (int, float, char …).

    • Demonstrate understanding by writing corresponding C codes that would translate to segment of Assembler codes given by the assignment.

    • Perform calculations to demonstrate understanding the tradeoff in accessing data stored in various memory levels.

    • Write a program that performs asynchronous communication tasks across a computer network.

  • Labs: In the labs, students will learn to use command line tools and programs common in the Linux operating systems for their programs. In completing the labs, students will be assessed on SLO2.

  • Quiz and Exams: Multiple choice, code reading, and code correction.


  • CSC 142: Computer Science II

  • MAT 151: Discrete Mathematics

Required Text (either print or e-book):#

Computer Systems, A programmer’s perspective by Randal E. Bryant and David R. O’Hallaron (3rd Ed.). This textbook is available via VitalSource/Integrated option on D2L.

Evaluation Policy:#

Grade Distributions




5 Homework Sets


5 Labs


5 Quizzes


Midterm Exam


Final Exam



Grade Scale

























<= 59


Lateness Policy:

Assignments that are late are assessed a 10% per day late penalty. Saturday and Sunday are each days.

General Policy#

University Sanctioned Events Policy

Students participating in participating in University sanctioned events such as, but not limited to, the Marching Band, musical ensembles, theatre group, athletic events, forensics competition, etc., will be granted an excused absence for class periods missed. Students will be granted the privilege of taking, at an alternative time to be determined by the professor, scheduled examinations or quizzes that will be missed. I will designate such times prior to the event and reserve the right to provide a fair alternative to taking the examination or quiz that will be missed. Students must submit original documentation on University letterhead signed by the activity director, coach, or adviser detailing the specifics of the event in advance. Specific requirements include:

  1. Responsibility for meeting academic requirements rests with the student.

  2. Students are expected to notify their professors as soon as they know they will be missing class due to a University sanctioned event.

  3. Students are expected to complete the work requirement for each class and turn in assignments due on days of the event prior to their due dates unless other arrangements are made with myself.

  4. If a scheduled event is postponed or canceled, the student is expected to go to class.

  5. Students are not excused from classes for practice on nonevent days.

The following are specifics for the student athlete:

  1. The student athlete is expected, where possible, to schedule classes on days and at hours that do not conflict with athletic schedules.

  2. Athletes are not excused from classes for practice or training-room treatment on nongame days.

Email Policy

It is expected that faculty, staff, and students activate and maintain regular access to University provided e-mail accounts. Official university communications, including those from your instructor, will be sent through your university e-mail account. You are responsible for accessing that mail to be sure to obtain official University communications. Failure to access will not exempt individuals from the responsibilities associated with this course.

Please abide by the following email etiquette policies to ensure clear communication:

  • Subject Line: Please include a descriptive and specific subject heading for all of your emails, including course and section number (e.g. “CSC 050-23: Question about lab 1”).

  • Greeting: Please make a clear and appropriate greeting; I will not answer emails addressed to “hey” or “yo”. Please address me as Dr. Ngo, or “Professor”.

  • Tone & Style: Always use a tone and language that is appropriate to an academic setting; I will not respond to emails that are written in short-hand or without proper punctuation and grammar. Your emails should not resemble a text message.

  • Sign and Proofread: Always sign your full name, especially if you are writing from your smart phone. Always proofread your emails before sending.

  • Email Account: I do not care which email account you send email from, as long as it is clearly addressed and signed so that I know who you are. But please be advised to appropriately link the email that you wish to use with myWCU and D2L; I will be using those services to send out emails to the entire class. It is your responsibility to make sure this is configured correctly so that you receive my emails.

Computer Science Department Dishonesty Policy:

The Computer Science Committee has adopted the following policies in regard to academic dishonesty in Computer Science classes:

  1. A student found to be academically dishonest in an assignment will receive zero for that assignment if it is his/her first offense in that class [the course, not the class period], but an F for the course if it is for his/her second offense in that class [the course].

  2. A student found to be academically dishonest in a test will receive the grade of F in that class [the course].

  3. For the purposes of this document on academic dishonesty, every form or method of evaluation in a class will be considered as being of one of two types: an assignment or a test. Assignments include homework assignments, and short quizzes [and labs]. Tests include final exams and major exams. An instructor has, subject to these guidelines, the discretion to determine the type of any other form of evaluation, such as a project, in his/her class.

  4. A student who has received the grade of F in a course because of academic dishonesty and who wants or is required to repeat that course may re-take that course only as a regularly scheduled course that is open to the student community in general. In exceptional circumstances, this condition may be revoked, but only by an explicit action to that effect by the full Computer Science Committee, and only then on a case by case basis.

  5. The term academic dishonesty is used throughout in the sense provided by the rules and regulations of West Chester University. The following is taken from The Ram’s Eye View of 1997-1998: “Academic dishonesty as it applies to students includes but is not limited to academic cheating; plagiarism; the sale, purchase, or exchange of term papers or research papers; falsification of information which includes any form of providing false or misleading information, written, electronic, or oral; or of altering or falsifying official institutional records. Plagiarism is defined as copying another’s work or portion thereof and/or using ideas and concepts of another and presenting them as one’s own without giving proper credit to the source.”

No-Grade, Violation of Academic Integrity, and Violation of Student Code of Conduct Policy:

For questions regarding Academic Dishonesty, the No-Grade policy, Sexual Harassment, or the Student Code of Conduct, students are encouraged to refer to their major department’s handbook, the Undergraduate Course Catalogue, the Rams Eye View, or the University Web Site. Please understand that improper conduct in any of these areas will not be tolerated and may result in immediate ejections from the class.

ADA Policy:

If you have a disability that requires accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), please present your letter of accommodations and meet with me as soon as possible so that I can support your success in an informed manner. Accommodations cannot be granted retroactively. If you would like to know more about West Chester University’s Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD), please contact the OSSD which is located at 223 Lawrence Center. The OSSD hours of Operation are Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Their phone number is 610-436-2564, fax number is 610-436-2600, and their email address is More information can be found at the OSSD website.

In an effort to assist students who either receive or may believe they are entitled to receive accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the University has appointed a student advocate to be a contact for students who have questions regarding the provision of their accommodations or their right to accommodations. The advocate will assist any student who may have questions regarding these rights. The Director for Equity and Compliance/Title IX Coordinator has been designated in this role. Students who need assistance with their rights to accommodations should contact them at 610-436-2433.

Reporting Incidents of Sexual Violence:

West Chester University and its faculty are committed to assuring a safe and productive educational environment for all students. In order to comply with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the University’s commitment to offering supportive measures in accordance with the new regulations issued under Title IX, the University requires faculty members to report incidents of sexual violence shared by students to the University’s Title IX Coordinator. The only exceptions to the faculty member’s reporting obligation are when incidents of sexual violence are communicated by a student during a classroom discussion, in a writing assignment for a class, or as part of a University-approved research project. Faculty members are obligated to report sexual violence or any other abuse of a student who was, or is, a child (a person under 18 years of age) when the abuse allegedly occurred to the person designated in the University Protection of Minors Policy. Information regarding the reporting of sexual violence and the resources that are available to victims of sexual violence is set forth at:

Inclusive learning environment and anti-racist statement

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to West Chester University’s mission as reflected in our Mission Statement, Values Statement, Vision Statement, and Strategic Plan: Pathways to Student Success. We disavow racism and all actions that silence, threaten, or degrade historically marginalized groups in the U.S. We acknowledge that all members of this learning community may experience harm stemming from forms of oppression including but not limited to classism, ableism, heterosexism, sexism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia, and recognize that these forms of oppression are compounded by racism.

Our core commitment as an institution of higher education shapes our expectation for behavior within this learning community, which represents diverse individual beliefs, backgrounds, and experiences. Courteous and respectful behavior, interactions, and responses are expected from all members of the University. We must work together to make this a safe and productive learning environment for everyone. Part of this work is recognizing how race and other aspects of who we are shape our beliefs and our experiences as individuals. It is not enough to condemn acts of racism. For real, sustainable change, we must stand together as a diverse coalition against racism and oppression of any form, anywhere, at any time.

Resources for education and action are available through WCU’s Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI), DEI committees within departments or colleges, the student ombudsperson, and centers on campus committed to doing this work (e.g., Dowdy Multicultural Center, Center for Women and Gender Equity, and the Center for Trans and Queer Advocacy).

Guidance on how to report incidents of discrimination and harassment is available at the University’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Emergency Preparedness:

All students are encouraged to sign up for the University’s free WCU ALERT service, which delivers official WCU emergency text messages directly to your cell phone. For more information, visit To report an emergency, call the Department of Public Safety at 610-436-3311.