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521287A Introduction to Computer Systems, 5 ECTS cr 
Code 521287A  Validity 01.08.2016 -
Name Introduction to Computer Systems  Abbreviation Introduction to 
Scope5 ECTS cr   
Type Intermediate Studies Discipline4307 Information Engineering 
  Grading1 - 5, pass, fail 
Unit Computer Science and Engineering DP 

Teemu Leppänen 

ECTS Credits 


Language of instruction 

Lecturing in Finnish, course and exercise material available in English.


Autumn, periods 1-2.

Learning outcomes 

Upon completing the course, the student understands the basics of computer architecture and CPU operation.
Student knows number systems and data representations in computer.
Student is familiar of I/O operation with peripheral devices.
Student is able to implement small programs with the C programming language for workstations and embedded systems.
Student recognizes how embedded systems programming is different from programming general-purpose computers.


Overview of computer architecture and CPU, data types and memory management, interrupts, registers and I/O, general computer and embedded systems programming, basics of the C programming language.


Mode of delivery 

Web-based teaching + face-to-face teaching.

Learning activities and teaching methods 

Lectures (20h), course exercises (10-20h), laboratory exercise (3h) and course project in a group.

Target group 

Students of the University of Oulu

Prerequisites and co-requisites 

Elementary Programming 521141P

Recommended optional programme components 

The course is an independent entity and does not require additional studies carried out at the same time.

Recommended or required reading 

Lecture notes and exercise material are available in the course website.

For English speaking students, either of the following material may be useful:
Patterson & Hennessy, Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface, 5th Edition, Chapter 1.
Bryant & O'Hallaron, Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective, 3rd Edition, Chapter 1.

Patterson & Hennessy, Computer Organization and Design, 5th Edition: The Hardware/Software Interface, 2014.

Bryant & O'Hallaron, Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective, 2016.


Assessment methods and criteria 

The assessment criteria is based on the learning outcomes of the course. Students complete the course exercises, participate to the laboratory exercise and complete the course project in a group. Assessment is based on the exercises and the course project. More detailed information on assessment is published in the lecture material.


Numerical grading scale 1-5, zero stands for fail.


Person responsible 

Teemu Leppänen

Working life cooperation 

Visiting lectures with experts from local industry are possible.

Other information 

The course learning platform is Lovelace (
This course replaces the course 521142A Embedded systems programming.


Current and future instruction
Functions Name Type ECTS cr Teacher Schedule
registration period has not begun Introduction to Computer Systems  Course  Teemu Leppänen  30.08.21 -20.12.21

Future examinations
No examinations in WebOodi