Dive into Systems: A Free, Online Textbook for Introducing Computer Systems
Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)
Cyber Research Center, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
SIGCSE'21: Proceedings of the 52nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
This paper presents our experiences, motivations, and goals for developing Dive into Systems , a new, free, online textbook that introduces computer systems, computer organization, and parallel computing. Our book's topic coverage is designed to give readers a gentle and broad introduction to these important topics. It teaches the fundamentals of computer systems and architecture, introduces skills for writing efficient programs, and provides necessary background to prepare students for advanced study in computer systems topics. Our book assumes only a CS1 background of the reader and is designed to be useful to a range of courses as a primary textbook for courses that introduce computer systems topics or as an auxiliary textbook to provide systems background in other courses. Results of an evaluation from students and faculty at 18 institutions who used a beta release of our book show overwhelmingly strong support for its coverage of computer systems topics, its readability, and its availability. Chapters are reviewed and edited by external volunteers from the CS education community. Their feedback, as well as that of student and faculty users, is continuously incorporated into its online content. We anticipate releasing version 1.0 of the book in spring of 2021, and a release candidate is currently available at https://diveintosystems.org.
Suzanne J. Matthews, Tia Newhall, and Kevin C. Webb. 2021. Dive into Systems: A Free, Online Textbook for Introducing Computer Systems. In Proceedings of the 52nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE '21). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1110–1116. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3408877.3432514
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