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This repository contains the recitation notes for Columbia's Advanced Programming class, COMSW3157, as taught by Jae Woo Lee. For more information about the class, visit the course homepage.

These recitations are held weekly by the various TAs, generally using these notes as the basis for their sections. Issues, patches, and comments, especially by current and former students, are welcome.


  • Recitation Note A: Introduction to UNIX, compile your first C program.
  • Recitation Note B: Makefiles.
  • Recitation Note C: Configuring and using Git for version control and file tracking.
  • Recitation Note D: C Basics: data types, bitwise, complex expressions and statements.
  • Recitation Note E: Parts of memory, pointers, and arrays. (i.e. malloc).
    • See also the very useful code directory, especially pointerfun.c and its output pointerfun-output for some interesting experiments with pointers and memory addresses.
  • Recitation Note F: Function pointers.
  • Recitation Note G: Structs, Unions, Const, C strings.
  • Recitation Note H: Linked lists and similar data structures (REMOVED).
  • Recitation Note I Using GDB and valgrind for debugging.
  • Recitation Note J: The UNIX stack. Users, permissions, file attributes. Processes, forking, and signals.
    • See also jsh, the Jae shell, in the code directory for a fun example of forking.
  • Recitation Note K: size_t. File IO, including reading, writing, and seeking in files.
  • Recitation Note L: Interprocess communication: pipes, FIFO, and sockets. TCP/IP stack information and netcat basics.
  • Recitation Note M: C++ intro. Classes and structs. Stack vs heap allocation in C++. The basic 4. Implicit conversion and operator overloading.
  • Recitation Note N: C++ generics, templates, containers, metaprogramming.
  • Recitation Note O: Smart pointer explanation.
  • Recitation Note Z: Bonus recitation -- Unix 2.

Additionally you can read the Mid-Semester Review to brush up on past material in the first part of the course; or Mid-Semester Review 2 for the second part (ie up to basic C++).

Finally, we've collected a number of interesting articles, posts, etc about C and related stuff in the reading list.


Recitation notes for cs3157, the C systems programming course with a narrative



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