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Systems Programming


Carzaniga A.

Course director

Mangipudi S.


Polverino P.



The course focuses on the features of the C language and libraries that are particularly useful in programming systems. This includes the memory model, input/output, modularization, its relevant language features, and its relation to the build process.


A "system" integrates components and functionality at different levels. Examples are information systems consisting of databases and processing modules; a distributed storage system consisting of networked redundant storage devices; an operating system that manages heterogeneous computing resources; a robotic system made of physical devices, embedded sensors and controllers, as well as complex processing modules. The most common systems programming language is C. This course is a practice-oriented introduction to programming in C and, to a limited extent, C++. The goal is not only to learn how to write correct C programs, but also to understand their execution model in depth.

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

This is a practice-driven course. All topics are introduced and explained through concrete working examples.

Examination information

The evaluation is based on concrete programming problems, with a combination of homework assignments and exams also consisting of programming exercises.