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Monash University

FIT9005 Computer architecture and networks - Summer semester, 2013

This unit introduces students to fundamentals of computer hardware and software, and networking. The unit provides knowledge of computer structure and operation, including Arithmetic-Logic Unit, computer registers, internal bus, memory; system software, including compilers and operating systems; and computer networking and data communication.

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs tutorials/wk


Students will be expected to spend a total of 24 hours per week during semester on this unit as follows:

  • Lectures: In summer 2 Lectures per week of 2 hours each.
  • Practical classes/Tutorials : In summer 2 Tutorials per week of 2 hours each
  • Private study (revision, homework and practical class preparation): 16 hours per week

Unit Relationships


FIT1005, FIT1031, FIT9018, FIT9020, BUS4150, BUS5112, CPE4002, CSE4884, CSE9801


FIT9004 or FIT9017


Proficiency in basic mathematics.

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Dr. Abdul Malik Khan

Consultation hours: TBA



Dr. Abdul Malik Khan

Academic Overview


At the completion of this unit students will have -

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

Assessment Summary

Examination (3 hours): 60%; In-semester assessment: 40%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Mid-semester test 12% Friday 01 February 2013
Tutorial tests 1, 2, 3, 4 28% total (7% each) Weeks 3, 4, 6 and 7
Examination 1 60% To be advised

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning.


Our feedback to You

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Test results and feedback
  • Quiz results
  • Solutions to tutes, labs and assignments

Your feedback to Us

Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

Previous evaluations of this unit have been very positive. After feedback from Semester 1, 2011, a more detailed coverage of computer architecture was introduced.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

Required Resources

Please check with your lecturer before purchasing any Required Resources. Limited copies of prescribed texts are available for you to borrow in the library, and prescribed software is available in student labs.

SPIM. MIPS Simulator: http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/packages/smartAnimator/

Wireshark. Packet Analysis Software: http://www.wireshark.org/

Recommended Resources

D. Tarnoff, Downloadable textbook: Computer Organization and Design Fundamentals.

Recommended text(s)

L. Null and J. Lobur. (2006). Essentials of Computer Organization and Architecture. (2nd) Jones and Bartlett Publishing (ISBN: 0-7637-3769-0).

A. S. Tannenbaum. (2006). Structured Computer Organization. (5th) Prentice Hall (ISBN: 9780131485211).

J. F. Kurose and K.W. Ross. (2010). Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach. (5th) Addison-Wesley Publishers (ISBN: 978-0136-07967-5).

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 LN1: Fri Jan 04 - Overview of the unit; history of computing; overview of computer organisation; why we learn this unit.  
2 LN2: Wed Jan 09 - Data representation and computer arithmetic (I). LN2: Fri Jan 11 - Data representation and computer arithmetic (II) (continued).  
3 LN3: Wed Jan 16 - Boolean algebra and digital logic. LN4: Fri Jan 18 - Computer architecture (I). Tutorial Test 1 (TT1: LN1-LN2) will be held during this week's tutorials
4 LN4: Wed Jan 23 - Computer architecture (II) (continued). LN5: Fri Jan 25 - System software. Tutorial Test 2 (TT2: LN3-LN4) will be held during this week's tutorials
5 LN6: Wed Jan 30 - Operating systems (I). LN6: Fri Feb 01 - Operating Systems (II). Mid Semester Test (during the lecture). Mid Semester Test (MST: LN1-LN5) will be held on Friday 01 February 2013 during the lecture
6 LN7: Wed Feb 6 - Introduction to computer networks. LN8: Fri Feb 8 - Application layer. Tutorial Test 3 (TT3: LN5-LN6) will be held during this week's tutorials
7 LN9: Wed Feb 13 - Transport layer and Network Layer. Tutorial Test 4 (TT4: LN7-LN8) will be held during this week's tutorials
8 Final Examination (3 hours) Wednesday 20 February 2013, Week 8
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your learning system.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/staff/edgov/policies/assessment-examinations/unit-assessment-hurdles.html)

Academic Integrity - Please see the Demystifying Citing and Referencing tutorial at http://lib.monash.edu/tutorials/citing/

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Mid-semester test
    Test includes material taught in lecture modules LN1-LN5.
    Criteria for assessment:

    How well principles and procedures are demonstrated in the student's answers.

    Due date:
    Friday 01 February 2013
  • Assessment task 2
    Tutorial tests 1, 2, 3, 4
    • Test 1: modules LN1-LN2
    • Test 2: modules LN3-LN4
    • Test 3: modules LN5-LN6
    • Test 4: modules LN7-LN8
    28% total (7% each)
    Criteria for assessment:

    How well principles and procedures are demonstrated in the student's answers.

    Due date:
    Weeks 3, 4, 6 and 7


  • Examination 1
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz).

Online submission

If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the learning system for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Other Information


Student services

The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students. For Sunway see http://www.monash.edu.my/Student-services, and for South Africa see http://www.monash.ac.za/current/

The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. At Sunway, visit the Library and Learning Commons at http://www.lib.monash.edu.my/. At South Africa visit http://www.lib.monash.ac.za/.

Academic support services may be available for students who have a disability or medical condition. Registration with the Disability Liaison Unit is required. Further information is available as follows:

  • Website: http://monash.edu/equity-diversity/disability/index.html;
  • Email: dlu@monash.edu
  • Drop In: Equity and Diversity Centre, Level 1 Gallery Building (Building 55), Monash University, Clayton Campus, or Student Community Services Department, Level 2, Building 2, Monash University, Sunway Campus
  • Telephone: 03 9905 5704, or contact the Student Advisor, Student Commuity Services at 03 55146018 at Sunway

Reading list

  • J. FitzGerald and A. Dennis, Business Data Communications and Networking, 10th Edition, John Wiley & Sons Publishers, 2009. ISBN 978-0470-05575-5.
  • Sebastian Coope, John Cowley and Neil Willis, Computer Systems: Architecture, Networks and Communications, McGraw-Hill, 2002. ISBN: 978-0077098032.
  • Miles Murdocca and Vincent Heuring, Computer Architecture and Organization: An Integrated Approach, Wiley, 2007. ISBN: 978-0471733881.
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