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Operating Systems - CSCI 402, Fall 2013, Both Sections

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
Instructor Bill Cheng (click to see office hours)
E-mail: <bill.cheng@usc.edu>.  (Please do not send HTML-only e-mails. They will not be read.)
  AM Section PM Section
Time MW 10:00am - 11:25am (NEW)  MW 12:25pm - 1:50pm (NEW) 
Location WPH B27 SLH 102
TA Sung-Han Lin, E-mail: <sunghan@usc.edu>
Office Hours: Wed 3:00pm - 5:00pm in SAL 211
Bo-Chun Wang, E-mail: <bochunwa@usc.edu>
Office Hours: Mon 3:00pm - 5:00pm in SAL 219
Course Producer (none) Zhiyi Xu, E-mail: <zhiyixu@usc.edu>
Help Desk Hours: Tue 3:30pm - 5:30pm in SAL 222
Grader Yu Zhang, E-mail: <zhan420@usc.edu>.
(The grader will hold office hours the week after the announcement of each assignment's grades.)
Feiyi Xiang, E-mail: <fxiang@usc.edu>.
(The grader will hold office hours the week after the announcement of each assignment's grades.)
Midterm Exam during class time, Wed, 10/30/2013 (firm). during class time, Wed, 10/30/2013 (firm).
Final Exam 8am-10am, Mon, 12/16/2013 (firm). 11am-1pm, Fri, 12/13/2013 (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 roll calls.
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.) Please note that this Google Group currently does not exist. It will be created after the first lecture.
 
News
(in reversed chronological order)
  • 12/4/2013: I'm sick today and will not come to campus. Therefore, lecture and office hour today are canceled. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 12/4/2013: The final exam will be held in the room where regular lectures were held. It 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 cover everything from slide 20 of Lecture 15 on 10/16/2013 to the last slide of Lecture 26 on 12/2/2013 plus everything about Ch 5.

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

    • Ch 3 - Basic Concepts
      • shared libraries
    • Ch 4 - Operating-System Design
      • devices
      • 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

  • 11/25/2013: Office hour today will end at 2:45pm. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 10/16/2013: 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 to slide 19 of Lecture 15 on 10/16/2013, [BC: updated 10/25/2013] with Chapter 5 excluded.

    Regarding what types of questions will be on the midterm, please see the Exams section of the course description web page. Regarding regrade policy, please see the Regrade section of the course description web page.

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

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

  • 10/8/2013: Office hour this Thursday (10/10/2013) is canceled. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 8/21/2013:
    • To get your user ID and password for accessing 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.)

    • Please do not send request to join the class Google Group until after Lecture 1 on 8/26/2013.

    • There is another section of CSCI 402, offered by Prof. Ramesh Govinadn on MW 10:00am-11:50am. There are substantial differences between our section and this section (even the textbooks are different). If you are an ungraduate student, you are required to enroll in Prof. Govindan's section of CSCI 402.

      Please make sure you attend the section for which you are registered.

    • 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 (using functions such as strchr, strrchr, strlen, strcmp, strncpy, etc.) and performing console and file I/O (using functions such as printf/snprintf, fread/fwrite, read/write, fgets, etc.) 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.) You are expected to know how to use Unix. If you are not familiar with Unix, please read Unix for the Beginning Mage, a tutorial written by Joe Topjian. The kernel programming assignments must run on Ubuntu 11.10. Therefore, you should install Ubuntu 11.10 on your laptop or desktop, if you have one. If you do not have a personal laptop or desktop that runs Windows or Mac OS X, please contact the instructor as soon as possible.

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 Tue Jan 07 2014]    [Please see copyright regarding copying.]