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Operating Systems - CSCI 402, Fall 2012, TuTh Section

This is an undergraduate course on computer operating systems. In addition to exploring concepts such as synchronization, virtual memory, processes, file systems and virtualization, students will develop elements of a fairly complete operating system during the course of the semester.
 
General Information
Time   :   TuTh 9:30am - 10:50am 
Location : SLH 102
Instructor   :   Bill Cheng (for office hours, please see instructor's web page), E-mail: <bill.cheng@usc.edu>.   (Please do not send HTML-only e-mails. They will not be read.)
TA #1   :   Sung-Han Lin, E-mail: <sunghan@usc.edu>, Office Hours: Tue 3:00pm - 5:00pm in SAL 211
TA #2   :   Bo-Chun Wang, E-mail: <bochunwa@usc.edu>, Office Hours: Tue 2:00pm - 4:00pm in SAL 211
Grader   :   Vishwanath Sungal, E-mail: <sungal@usc.edu>(The grader will hold office hours the week after the announcement of each assignment's grades.)
Midterm Exam   :   during class time, Thu, 11/1/2012 (firm)
Final Exam   :   11am-1pm, Thu, 12/13/2012 (firm).
 
Class Resources
Description   :   textbooks, topics covered, grading policies, additional resources, etc.
Lectures   :   lectures slides (in PDF format).
Projects   :   (please also see important information about the class projects below.)
Participation   :   rules about rowcalls.
Homeworks   :   (not graded)
Newsgroup   :   Google Group for discussing course materials and programming assignments. You are required to be a member of this group. (This group is by invitation only.)
 
News
(in reversed chronological order)
  • 12/12/2012: VMware have been very kind to offer to treat everyone to free pizza after the final exam tomorrow (at 1pm right outside of SLH 102). Here is the flyer. Thanks, VMware!

  • 12/6/2012: The final exam will be closed book, closed notes, and closed everything (and no "cheat sheet"). Also, no calculators, cell phones, or any electronic gadgets are allowed. Please bring a photo ID. Your ID will be collected at the beginning of the exam and will be returned to you when you turn in your exam. There will be assigned seating.

    The final exam will focus on everything after the midterm exam (starting from slide 1 of Lecture 18 on 10/25/2012 to the last slide of the lecture on 12/6/2012).

    Regarding what types of questions will be on the midterm, please see the Exams section of the course description (I have just updated it today).

    Here is a quick summary of the topics (not all topics covered may be listed):

    • Ch 4 - Operating-System Design
      • virtual machines, microkernels
    • Ch 5 - Processor Management
      • threads implementations
      • interrupts
      • scheduling
    • Ch 6 - File Systems
      • the basics of file systems
      • crash resiliency
      • directories and naming, RAID, flash memory, case studies
    • Ch 7 - Memory Management
      • virtual memory
      • OS issues

  • 12/3/2012: The statistics for our Midterm Exam (after regrades) are:
         Count = 75
           Avg = 59.99
        StdDev = 10.57
           Max = 81.00
           Min = 23.50
    
       1 81+ X
       1 78+ X
       2 75+ XX
       4 72+ XXXX
       5 69+ XXXXX
      12 66+ XXXXXXXXXXXX
       8 63+ XXXXXXXX
      10 60+ XXXXXXXXXX
       4 57+ XXXX
       6 54+ XXXXXX
       7 51+ XXXXXXX
       5 48+ XXXXX
       5 45+ XXXXX
       1 42+ X
       2 39+ XX
       1 36+ X
       0 33+
       0 30+
       0 27+
       0 24+
       1 21+ X

  • 11/18/2012: I have an appointment with my physical therapist this coming Tuesday afternoon (11/20/2012). I'm sorry that I have to cancel office hour this Tuesday on 11/20/2012. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 11/1/2012: Instructor is ill. Office hour today (Thu, 11/1) is canceled. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 10/29/2012: I have to cancel office hours today (Mon, 10/29) and this Wednesday (10/31) due to physical therapy appointments. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 10/25/2012: The midterm exam will be closed book, closed notes, and closed everything (and no "cheat sheet"). Also, no calculators, cell phones, or any electronic gadgets are allowed. Please bring a photo ID. Your ID will be collected at the beginning of the exam and will be returned to you when you turn in your exam. There will be assigned seating.

    The midterm exam will cover everything from the beginning of the semester till the end of Lecture 17 on 10/23/2012.

    Regarding what types of questions will be on the midterm, please see the Exams section of the course description.

    Here is a quick summary of the topics (not all topics covered may be listed):

    • Ch 1 - Introduction
      • introduction
      • a simple OS
    • Ch 2 - Multithreaded Programming
      • thread creation, termination, synchronization
      • thread safety, deviations
    • Ch 3 - Basic Concepts
      • context switching, I/O, dynamic storage allocation
      • linking, loading, booting
    • Ch 4 - Operating-System Design
      • a simple system

  • 10/25/2012: I'm still ill. I have to cancel office hour today (Thu, 10/25). Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 10/23/2012: I'm ill. Office hour today (Tuesday, 10/23) and tomorrow (Wednesday, 10/24) are canceled. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 10/22/2012: I'm ill. Office hour today (Monday, 10/22) is canceled. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 9/24/2012: Office hour this Wednesday (9/26) is canceled. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 9/13/2012: There will be no row sheet to sign for this semester. The midterm exam is now worth 35%.

  • 8/30/2012: Tu/Th office hours moved to 2:10pm - 3:00pm for the rest of the semester. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 8/26/2012: I'm sorry that I have to cancel the first office hour of the semester (on Monday, 8/27). Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 8/17/2012:
    • To access protected area of this web site, please visit the request access page after the semester starts and submit the requested information. (You do not have to be registered for the course to get the password. You just need to have an USC e-mail address.)

    • There is another section of CSCI 402 (on MW 10:00am-11:50am). It is offered by Prof. Ramesh Govindan. There are substantial differences between the two sections. Please make sure you attend the section for which you are registered. If you are an ungraduate student, you are required to enroll in Prof. Govindan's section of CSCI 402.

    • Watch this area for important announcements.
 
Prerequisites
Please note that the instructor has never and will never sign anything that says that you can waive any of the prerequisites below for a Masters student: CSCI 201L or CSCI 455x; EE 357 or EE 352L
 
Important Information about Programming Assignments
The programming assignments of this class will be very demanding. You will be required to write C code. (Since C is a proper subset of C++, knowing C++ well would give you enough background. However, some of the things that available in C++, such as strings and streams, are not be available in C. So, you need to know how to do things such as manipulating null-terminated array of characters and performing I/O in C.) No other programming language will be accepted. We will not teach C in this class. You are expected to pick up C on your own if you are not familiar with it. You should also get familiar with the UNIX development environment (vi/pico/emacs, cc/gcc, make, etc.) We strongly recommend you install Ubuntu Linux on your laptop or desktop, if you have one.

If a student signs up late for this class or could not be present at the beginning of the semester, he/she is still required to turn all projects and homeworks on time or he/she will receive a score of 0 for these assignments. No exceptions!

 

[Last updated Wed Dec 12 2012]    [Please see copyright regarding copying.]