Tues, 6th Oct 2015, 02:03 a clarification for the exam

My students,

My TAs have told me there may be some confusion in what I expect for an
answer if I give you a question: "What does the circuit do?" or "What does
the program do?"  In both cases there will be a box for you to write your
answer.  In both cases I want you to look at the circuit or the program as
a *whole*, and tell me what it does.  I do not want you to tell me what each
instruction does or what each piece of the circuit does.

For example, if I gave you a program that first cleared R1, and then
checked each bit in R2, and each time a bit was a 1, the program added
1 to the value stored in R1, and asked you what the program does, you
could give me two answers:

Answer 1: The program executes a loop 16 times, each time examining a bit
in R2 and incrementing R1 if that bit is a 1.

Answer 2: The program counts the number of 1s in R2.

Answer 1 gets no credit.  It is not telling me what the program *does*.
It tells me what each instruction does.  I asked: What does the program do?

Answer 2 gets full credit.  It tells me exactly what the program *does*.

So, if you get a question on the exam that asks what something does, whether
it be a circuit or a program, I am trying to find out if you can look at the
circuit or program as a whole, and tell me what it does.


Good luck on the exam.

Yale Patt