Athens, OH 20 October 2013 – This Fall semester, I’m taking a class called Computer Organization. This course is all about learning how computers work at the most basic level. We are learning all about how data is stored and transferred in hardware, how the computer does arithmetic, and how computers handle and execute instructions in hardware. At the end of the course we will have learned enough to know how to build our own processor, and that’s exactly what we are going to do! We have a final project where we split up into teams of two or three and work as a team to design and build a working computer processor. The processor will be able to handle instructions and perform the basiccommands that all computer processors perform. However, we won’t be able to build the actual computer chip so we will use a program called Verilog to simulate building one.
I really like this class because it is one of the first classes I’ve had that deals with a lot of computer hardware. I’m a Computer Science major and Computer Science deals mostly with software (writing computer programs). The majority of my classes focus on programming languages, computer logic, and algorithms. Sometimes, though, we get to take courses outside of Computer Science. For example, Computer Organization isn’t a CS course, it’s actually a course in the Electrical Engineering department. Learning about EE helps me better understand computers and circuits which in turn makes me a better computer scientist. I think that’s what I really like about the curriculum in the Russ College: no matter what major you are, you get to learn about different departments of engineering to help you become a better engineer.