CS 3013: Operating Systems
Time: C-Term 2015, Tuesdays and Fridays, 9:00am to 10:50am
Location: Atwater-Kent 219
Course Catalog Description
This course provides the student with an understanding of the basic components of a general-purpose operating system. Topics include processes, process management, synchronization, input/output devices and their programming, interrupts, memory management, resource allocation, and an introduction to file systems. Students will be expected to design and implement a large piece of system software in the C programming language. Undergraduate credit may not be earned both for this course and for CS 502. Recommended background: CS 2303 or CS 2301, and CS 2011.
Operating systems are present in a broad range of devices, from embedded systems to powerful supercomputers. This course is designed to help students learn more about operating systems, allowing students to know how to write applications that leverage operating system resources or for those that wish to develop operating systems themselves. The course will introduce the concepts of concurrency, abstracton, and caching. Other topics, such as file systems or networking, appear in separate courses (CS 4513 - Distributed Systems and CS 3516 - Computer Networking, respectively).
Teaching Assistant: Mike Calder
Office: Fuller Labs A22
Office Hours: Wednesdays/Thursdays: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Teaching Assistant: Qingyang Wang
Office: Fuller Labs A22
Office Hours: Tuesdays/Wednesdays: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Teaching Assistant: Jason (Zhixin) Yan
Office: Fuller Labs A22
Office Hours: Mondays/Wednesdays: 9:00am - 12:00pm
We will be using the following textbooks for the course:
- Required: Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Modern Operating Systems. 3rd edition, Prentice Hall, 2008. ($33 used online)
- Recommended: Robert Love, Linux Kernel Development, 3rd edition, Addison-Wesley, 2010. ($22 used online)
A fourth edition of the Tanenbaum book is available on the market ($154 online), which has resulted in a signicant price reduction on the third edition. As a result, we will continue using the third edition until it is no longer widely available. If you are unable to locate a copy of the third edition, please let the instructor know immediately.
Students must complete readings from the Tanenbaum book before each class. A quiz at the start of class will include contents from the readings. Failure to acquire the book will likely lead to poor performance in the course.
The instructor recognizes textbooks can impose a financial burden and tries to minimize costs while maximizing the students' education. The instructor recommends Allen Downey's "The Little Book of Semaphores" (a free online textbook) as an additional resource, but notes there currently are no free equivalents of the required textbook.
Lecture Schedule and Readings
This schedule is subject to change. Any changes will be announced in class with at least one week's advance notice, when possible. All readings are out of the Tanenbaum book unless otherwise noted. All readings are due before class on the date indicated. Students are expected to have read the readings prior to arriving for class. All projects are due at 11:59:00pm on the date indicated.
|Class Number||Date||Reading Required||Topic|
|1||Jan. 16||1||Introduction to the Course|
|Jan. 16||Project 0 Assigned|
|Jan. 16||Project 1 Assigned|
|2||Jan. 20||2.1||Introduction to Concurrency, Processes|
|Jan. 20||Project 0 Due|
|Jan. 21||Project 1 Checkpoint|
|3||Jan. 23||1.6, 2.2, 2.3||System calls, Threads, Synchronization|
|4||Jan. 27||WPI CLASSES CANCELED|
|Jan. 27||Project 1 Due|
|Jan. 27||Project 2 Assigned|
|5||Jan. 30||Introduction to Project 2|
|Feb. 2||Project 2 Checkpoint|
|6||Feb. 3||2.3||Synchronization, Concurrent Applications|
|7||Feb. 6||Concurrent Applications, Project 3|
|Feb. 6||Project 2 Due|
|Feb. 6||Project 3 Assigned|
|8||Feb. 10||2.4, 3.1, 3.2||Scheduling, Memory Management|
|Feb. 11||Project 3 Checkpoint|
|9||Feb. 13||3.1, 3.2, 3.3||Memory Management|
|10||Feb. 17||3.4||Caching Principles and Paging|
|Feb. 17||Project 3 Due|
|Feb. 17||Project 4 Assigned|
|11||Feb. 20||3.5-3.7||Caching and Paging Performance, Virtual Memory|
|Feb. 23||Project 4 Checkpoint|
|12||Feb. 24||4.1-4.2, 5.1-5.2||File Systems, Input/Output|
|13||Feb. 27||5.3, 9.1, 9.3.0-9.3.3||Miscellaneous Topics|
|Feb. 27||Project 4 Due|
|14||Mar. 3||9.4||System Security and Protection|
Course Policies and Procedures
The following represent the official policies and procedures for the course. Please review this information and discuss any questions with the professor as soon as possible.
The university-wide myWPI system is insufficient for the course's needs. Instead, we will be using InstructAssist, a custom-built course management tool created by the instructor. This system will be used for posting grades, submitting projects, obtaining slides, scheduling project demonstrations, and posting partner evaluations. It is available at https://ia.wpi.edu/classes/2015/c/cs3013/. InstructAssist uses a WPI SSL certificate for authenticity and encryption to protect student records.
Class discussion, class hand-outs, posts on the class forum, emails to the student's WPI email account, and the course Web pages are avenues for official course communication. Students are responsible for any information distributed through any of these venues.
Class Email and Forum
Students must check their WPI email daily. The instructor and TAs will use email to send urgent information to the class. Classmates collaborating on teams may also use email to coordinate efforts, so checking email periodically will be essential for timely responses.
Students should post all questions about the course on the class discussion board. The teaching staff will use the discussion board to keep track of assistance requests. Further, posts on the discussion board will be available to all students by default, allowing everyone to learn from these questions.
By default, all students will be subscribed to receive email copies of the classwide announcements sent by the teaching staff. Students may unsubscribe from non-urgent postings by adjusting their profile settings. Students are responsible for all announcements, even if they elect not to receive email copies.
If a question is of a more personal or private nature, students can choose to create a new discussion topic and select the "Visible by Invitation Only" topic privacy option. Any communication in that topic will be visible only to the Instructor, the TAs, the student creating the topic, and any individuals the student explicitly invites to the topic. This approach will allow students to have a private discussion with the staff while still allowing the staff to keep track of unresolved issues and address them in a timely fashion.
The CS Department Documentation Format should be considered when programming. In general, code must be clean and organized. It must be appropriately commented as well. During project demonstrations, students may be graded on their ability to accurately describe what a code segment does, so students are well-advised to aim for clairity in their programming.
Submissions must include a README file and a Makefile for compilation. All programs must compile and execute on the provided virtual machines. Programs that do not compile, or programs lacking commenting, will not be graded and will be assigned a score of 0.
Students must present demonstrations for each of the course projects, except Project 0. Students who fail to appear for a demonstration may earn a score of zero on the project until a demonstration is completed. During the demonstrations, students are expected to be able to explain their code and design decisions. For team projects, both partners are expected to attend the demonstration.
For students working in pairs, each student must complete a partner evaluation indicating the contributions of each team member. Failure to complete an evaluation will result in a penalty. Students who are found to not have contributed their fair portion of the assigned deliverables may face grade deductions at the discretion of the teaching staff.
Students with a strong computer science background develop the ability to quickly pick up a new programming language as needed. This provides them the flexibility to adapt to changing work requirements and the ability to recognize the most efficient tool for the job. Students pick up these abilities through exposure to different programming languages, especially those that serve as the model for future languages.
In this course, we will be using the C programming language. This language is the basis of many common operating systems and network programs, with operating system APIs designed with these languages in mind. Students without experience in C will have to develop such a background while concurrently developing course projects. This is extremely challenging and prior courses have shown that students without a background in C programming generally do not perform well in CS 3013.
The C Programming Language, by Kernighan and Ritchie, (ISBN: 0-13-110362-8) is the de facto standard guide to programming in C and provides a good reference in addition to the textbooks.
Course Participation and Professionalism
During lectures, students are to be focused on the course. Students should not use materials or electronic devices that would inhibit their attention to the course lecture and discussion. Laptops may only be used for note-taking purposes; transmission capabilities on these devices must be disabled and only appropriate note-taking application may be used in class. Mobile devices, such as phones or PDAs, are not to be used in class. Significant penalities may be assessed for repeated infractions.
Students must treat each other and the teaching staff with respect at all times. Disagreement, debates, and criticism of ideas are healthy aspects of academic environments; however, students should avoid demeaning language or comments which can be taken personally. The ability to handle conflict professionally and work with a variety of people is an acquired skill, yet is increasingly important in technical careers.
Students will not receive credit for Project 0 if they submit it late.
Programming projects may be submitted late, but with significant penalties. Programs that are late by a certain amount of time, denoted as t, will incur the following penalties:
|0 minutes < t ≤ 1 day||10% deduction from maximum grade before the rest of the grading begins|
|1 day < t ≤ 3 days||30% deduction from maximum grade before the rest of the grading begins|
|3 days < t ≤ 5 days||50% deduction from maximum grade before the rest of the grading begins|
|5 days < t||no credit will be awarded|
Any projects submitted after 4pm on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 will not be graded. Any projects not demonstrated by 6pm on Thursday, March 5, 2015 will not be graded.
The course programming assignments and in-class quizes form the basis for 90% of the course grade. The remaining 10% of the course grade will be attributed to in class participation and professionalism associated with the course. Details on each of these components are as follows:
- Quizzes (45%): There will be a 10-15 minute quiz at the
beginning of each class (except for the first day). The two lowest
quiz scores will automatically be dropped, allowing for absences,
illnesses, or simply "bad days". The quizes will
be short, typically only two questions long. The first question will
cover material from reading due before class and will be more
factual (and simplistic) in nature. The second question will be more
application-oriented, requiring students to apply
concepts from prior class discussions to new
challenges. Our class will trial a
digital option for completing the quiz; however, the instructor
reserves the right to require a paper-based format at his discretion.
Students may not access reference materials or
electronic devices during quizzes, even after a student finishes his
or her quiz.
- Projects (45%): There will be multiple programming
projects in the course to allow students to apply concepts. These
projects may be done individually or in pairs unless otherwise
indicated. Projects may have different point values and projects may
have "checkpoint" deliverables in which students must show
substantial progress towards completing the project.
- Participation and Professionalism (10%): Students are
expected to be engaged in class, answer questions from the
instructor and asking questions when needed. Students must regularly
attend classes and show up to demonstration times they
schedule. Disregard for course policies or unprofessional conduct
with students or the teaching staff will be penalized. This grading
component is a signed value, allowing students to earn a negative
score for abusive behavior.
If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you have medical information that you need to share with the instructor, please make an appointment with the instructor as soon as possible. If you have not already done so, students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as soon as possible to ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. This office is located in the West St. House (157 West St) and their phone number is 508.831.4908.
The WPI Academic Honesty Policy describes types of academic dishonesty and requirements in documentation. We take these matters seriously. In the case of academic dishonesty, the instructor is required to report the incident to the Dean of Student Affairs. The instructor's penalty for academic dishonesty is to assign a NR grade for the course.