Note: This unit version is currently under review and is subject to change!

COMP9601: Computer and Network Organisation (2019 - Semester 1)

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Unit: COMP9601: Computer and Network Organisation (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Computer Science
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Bao, Wei
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Prohibitions: COMP5213.
Brief Handbook Description: This unit of study provides an introduction to computer organisation and network protocols. It covers a broad range of topics including computer hardware, software architecture (operating systems, compilers, etc), and principles of communication network protocols. It is designed to give students an understanding of how software programs operate and run inside the computer hardware, and therefore the knowledge how to use computers most effectively.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Lecturer/s: Robertson, Alan
Timetable: COMP9601 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Tutorial 1.00 1 11
3 Independent Study 8.00 13

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3)
1. Understanding the architecture of computer, especially instruction set, memory hierarchy and processor architecture through the introduction of a simplified processor that can run Java bytecode;
2. Understanding network architecture and protocols (especially application level protocols and TCP/IP) and making effective use of a network tool and programming interface.
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 3)
3. Ability to study technical concepts and details, and present research reports (e.g., cache replacement policies and their advantages and disadvantages).
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
4. Familiarizing different number representations (i.e., binary, hexadecimal and decimal) and make use of these in the assembly language level
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Assignment No 10.00 Week 6 4,
2 Assignment No 15.00 Week 9 1,
3 Assignment No 15.00 Week 12 2, 3,
4 Final Exam No 60.00 Exam Period 1, 2, 3, 4,
Assessment Description: Assignment: Assignment 1 (Data Representation)

In this assignment, students are asked to write a C/C++ code to perform basic bitwise operations.

Assignment: Assignment 2 (Assembly Programming)

In this assignment, students are ask to write an assembly program using the simulator that will be introduced in the course.

Assignment: Assignment 3 (Cache Management)

In this assignment, students are ask to write a report about different caching policies and how they may effect performance of a system.

They will be using cachesim, another tool that will be introduced during the course.

Final Exam: Final Exam

Final exam will cover all materials of the course. it will measure how students learned the taught materials.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Minimum Pass Requirement It is a policy of the School of Computer Science that in order to pass this unit, a student must achieve at least 40% in the written examination. For subjects without a final exam, the 40% minimum requirement applies to the corresponding major assessment component specified by the lecturer. A student must also achieve an overall final mark of 50 or more. Any student not meeting these requirements may be given a maximum final mark of no more than 45 regardless of their average.
Policies & Procedures: IMPORTANT: School policy relating to Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism.

In assessing a piece of submitted work, the School of Computer Science may reproduce it entirely, may provide a copy to another member of faculty, and/or to an external plagiarism checking service or in-house computer program and may also maintain a copy of the assignment for future checking purposes and/or allow an external service to do so.

Other policies

See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction
Week 2 Bits and bytes
Week 3 Machine-Level-Programming-1
Week 4 Machine-Level-Programming-2
Week 5 Processor-Architecture-1
Week 6 Processor-Architecture-2
Assessment Due: Assignment
Week 7 Processor-Architecture-3
Week 8 Memory-Hierarchy
Week 9 Cache-Memory
Assessment Due: Assignment
Week 10 Virtual-Memory-Concepts
Week 11 Virtual-Memory-System
Week 12 Internetworking
Assessment Due: Assignment
Week 13 Internet-Services
Exam Period Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Graduate Certificate in Information Technology 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Graduate Certificate in Information Technology Management 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Graduate Diploma in Computing 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Graduate Diploma in Information Technology 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Graduate Diploma in Information Technology Management 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Information Technology 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Information Technology Management 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of IT/Master of IT Management 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 3) No 0%
(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 2) No 0%
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 2) No 0%
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 3) No 0%
(4) Design (Level 3) No 0%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3) No 52.5%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 3) No 22.5%
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 3) No 25%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.