Systems Architecture

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Systems Architecture

  • Host University

    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Systems Engineering

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Programming and Systems Programming

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Systems Architecture
    Course Number: 214 - 14072
    ECTS credits: 6
    YEAR 2/ Lower Division

    Programming and Systems Programming


    1. The student must be able to design a software system using the C Programming Language containing non-trivial data structures, dynamic memory management, and using engineering techniques to translate a set of given high level constraints, derived from a hypothetical industrial setting, into a robust application.

    2. The student must be able to use proficiently the following industry-category tools: a compiler with different options to generate debugging information and to analyze the diagnostics produced while developing the application, an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to implement a software system, a version controlled system to handle regular development flows, a cross compiler to create multidevice versions of an application and conduct experiments to verify device compatibility, and profiling tools to analyze memory behavior in a software application.

    3. The student must be able to: work effectively in a team to execute a project entailing the design of a software application on a mobile device, generate ideas collaboratively in a team to promote the exchange of information, organize the work in a team to optimize its performance and comply with the project requirements, and divide tasks effectively among the team members.

    4. The student must be able to: learn autonomously, manage different information sources, generate and value concise information about the tasks accomplished, manage the time of personal work, and present effectively the results derived from the process.


    The programme is divided into the following blocks:

    1. The C programming language
    1.1. Basic data types and flow constructions
    1.2. Structure of a C application. The pre-processor, division in files and creating an executable.
    1.3. Pointer manipulation.

    2. Dynamic memory management in C
    2.1. Dynamic data structures
    2.2. Memory leaks
    2.3. Concurrent tools
    2.4. Tools for detecting memory leaks

    3. Architecture of the Linux
    3.1. Kernel, processes, and filesystem
    3.2. Main libraries
    3.3. Concurrency

    4. Team project design
    4.1. Conflicts and their resolution
    4.2. Project development


    The activities used to underpin the competences and the skills in the course
    are (preceeded by the reference to the program objectives):

    - Exercises covering the following topics: design the most appropriate data
    structure for a functionality in a mobile application, write code fragments to
    manipulate data structures, read/write fields, process data, etc, calculate the
    amount of memory occupied by different data structures (PO: a).

    - During the lab sessions code fragments are written, compiled, linked and
    executed using different compiler options and detect, analyze and correct these
    programs using the debugger (PO: b).

    - During the lab sessions code fragments are written to create, destroy and
    manipulate data structures using dynamic memory. Students are also requested to
    divide a given functionality into functions and write their code (PO: c).

    - During an eight-week period students are divided into teams of four or five
    members and they must execute a project entailing the design of a software
    application containing multiple milestones, deliverables and objectives(PO: d).

    - Write detailed meeting minutes with the action items and final conclusions,
    exchange information between teammates using chats, forums, email, explain the
    requirements derived from the specification of a work module, and the solution
    decided by the team (PO: g).

    - Students are requested in several activites throughout the course to search
    for auxiliary documents to support the information studied in a topic. In their
    final report, they must acknowledge the information sources they used (PO: i).

    - Use of the following tools: Virtual machines, compiler, IDE, version
    control and emulator in multiple laboratory sessions (PO: k).

    During these activities the teaching staff reviews the student work in the
    class, supervises the lab sessions, answers questions in course forum,
    maintains at least one hour a week of office hours and calls for plenary office
    hours upon demand.


    Continuous evaluation (EC) for the course (60 % ):
    - Individual lab (10%)
    - Partial exam (10 %)
    - Team project  development (30%)
    - Project test (10%)

    Final  Exam (EF)(40 %)
    - There is a minimum of  40 % of all evaluation

    There are 10% of additional points for unscheduled activities.
    These points will be directly added on EC.

    Steve Oualline:. Practical C Programming. Proquest. 1991

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.


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