If you enrolled late, make sure to create an account in HotCRP to receive the first reading assignment and submit reviews before the first lecture.

Course Overview

The course will center around reading and discussing research in computer architecture. We will read classic papers that discuss fundamental computer architecture building blocks in use today and will sample emerging and promising hot topics from recent conferences. The key goals of the course are to understand the state of the art of computer architecture, gain an intuition of key architecture concepts, and learn to critically read and dissect research papers.

Students are expected to read papers, attend lectures, participate in class discussions, and complete a research project. As part of this course, students must produce either (1) a conference-quality paper or (2) public-release-quality working software and documentation. Students will be expected to spend at least 8 hours per week on course work in addition to attending lectures.


Graduate courses in computer architecture (CSE502) and in operating systems (CSE506) are a minimum prerequisite for this class. Students are expected to be proficient in the fundamentals of processor hardware and low-level software, and have a solid understanding of application software development. If you are unsure whether or not you have the necessary background for this course, it means that you do not have the necessary background.


  • Paper Reviews – 70 points
  • Project – 50
  • Participation – 10

Course Project is required, the rest of the components are optional. Students who attain a total of 100 points or more are guaranteed an A. The rest of the grades are curved (many students get A grades with fewer than 100 points). Individual participation will be judged by the instructor based on active interaction during lectures (attendance in lecture or office hours does not constitute participation).

Paper Reviews

Reviews will be entered into the course HotCRP site, with all participating in the role of program committee members.

Course participants will also nominate papers for discussion, submitting  these papers in the role of authors.  Papers will be drawn from the proceedings of the following conferences:

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The collaboration and academic integrity policy in this class is likely to be significantly different from other courses you’ve taken in the past. Absolutely all forms of collaboration are permitted, including collaboration with other students in and outside of class, as well as outside of the university. There are only three explicit requirements for all submitted work (except paper reviews):

  • All submitted work must have an explicit Copyright label containing your name.
  • All submitted work must have an explicit license.
  • All Copyright laws of the United States must be respected.

For example, for all submitted materials, you must include a label similar to one of the following:

  • Copyright © 2014 by (Your Name). All rights reserved.
  • Copyright © 2014 by (Your Name). Permission to copy and distribute verbatim copies permitted.
  • Copyright © 2014 by (Your Name). This work is licensed under GPLv3, details in accompanying COPYING file.

Applying open-source licenses to your work (BSD, GPL, or others) is encouraged, but not required. Any willful violations of this policy will result in a failing grade being assigned for the course.

Assignment Hand-in Policy

All deadlines are before the start of lecture on the due date.  All submissions except paper reviews will be accepted on or after the due date.  Assignments submitted after the due date will be assessed a 1-point per day penalty (multiplied by the number of group members) for each late day, in 24-hour increments.

Americans with Disabilities Act

If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services, ECC(Educational Communications Center) Building, Room 128, (631)632-6748. They will determine with you what accommodations, if any, are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.

Academic Integrity

Each student must pursue his or her academic goals honestly and be personally accountable for all submitted work. Representing another person’s work as your own is always wrong. Faculty is required to report any suspected instances of academic dishonesty to the Academic Judiciary. Faculty in the Health Sciences Center (School of Health Technology & Management, Nursing, Social Welfare, Dental Medicine) and School of Medicine are required to follow their school-specific procedures. For more comprehensive information on academic integrity, including categories of academic dishonesty please refer to the academic judiciary website at

Critical Incident Management

Stony Brook University expects students to respect the rights, privileges, and property of other people. Faculty are required to report to the Office of University Community Standards any disruptive behavior that interrupts their ability to teach, compromises the safety of the learning environment, or inhibits students’ ability to learn. Faculty in the HSC Schools and the School of Medicine are required to follow their school-specific procedures. Further information about most academic matters can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin, the Undergraduate Class Schedule, and the Faculty-Employee Handbook.