CS 2700: Assembly Language and Computer Architecture
Spring 2015 - Homework 1
Due February 9, 2015, at the beginning of class
This is an individual assignment. All work must be your own.
You should not look at any other student's work (in whole or in part, on paper
or on screen), nor allow anyone else to look at yours, during the course of this assignment.
Turn in as hardcopy or via email (MS Word or PDF or plain text only). Typed.
Unless specified otherwise, all questions are from "The Essentials of
Computer Organization and Architecture, 4th Ed." by Null and Lobur.
Chapter 1, Exercise #4. Add to the question description: "In your
answer, provide the grader with a URL leading to a web page of the system
you select and write a sentence or two about why that system would be your
Chapter 1, Exercise #6. Add to the question description: "Comment on
anything peculiar you notice."
(Note: I don't expect you to manually examine machine language instructions,
bit by bit. You can estimate the number of instructions by looking at the
sizes of machine language files generated -- more bytes in the executable
file means more machine language instructions.)
Chapter 1, Exercise #14.
- Look up information about one of the "lesser luminaries" of early computing.
Select someone who made contributions in the 1940's or 1950's (they may have contributed
later, too, but you must select someone who was working in computing in at least
one of those two decades). Do not select one of the "big names"; select a
person who contributed, but never hit the heights of fame.
Provide citation information for your sources of information. (URLs and names
for web sites, book titles and authors for books, etc.)
Wikipedia is an acceptable
source for this question. You might also visit the web site of the
Charles Babbage Institute or
The Computer History Museum
in San Jose.
- Write a paragraph or two summarizing what you could find out about that person's
- Write a sentence about why what they did mattered to computing.
- Answer this question: If you had been born as that person, and were at the moment
where they made the decision to join the project (which later became famous)
or accept the job (where they would wind up working with the latterly famous person),
knowing only what that person knew at the time, do you think you would have have
joined the project or accepted the job? Why or why not?
How to tell if the person you selected is "too famous" for this question:
- If they won a Turing Award or Nobel Prize they are too famous.
- If were founder and CEO of a company still operating today, they are too famous.
- If they are mentioned in our textbook, they are too famous. (Alan Turing, Konrad Zuse, Gordon Moore, Grace Hopper...)
- Feel free to ask the professor if you're not sure if the person you selected
is too famous or not.
- (It is ok if the person you pick won awards, just not big,
famous awards like the Turing Award.)
Ideas for people to research, if you don't know where to start:
- Mauchly and Eckert, famously, built the ENIAC. What about the other people
involved in the project? You could write about any one of Kay McNulty,
Betty Jennings, Betty Snyder, Marlyn Wescoff, Fran Bilas or Ruth Lichterman,
the women who programmed the ENIAC from day to day, or one of the
engineers responsible for designing an important component of the ENIAC.
- Other countries were also building early computers in the 1940s and 50s,
machines not as famous in the USA. In Britain, some people built the
"Manchester Mark 1". You could write about one of the people that built that
- Fairchild Semiconductor was a company founded in the 1950's by
the "traitorous eight". Two of those eight were Gordon Moore and
Robert Noyce, both now too famous for this question. You could pick
one of the other six to write about -- who were they and what happened to them?
- While working at Bletchley Park during WWII, Alan Turing worked
with a number of other people while breaking the German Enigma codes
-- you could select one of them.