USC CSD Home
 

Operating Systems - CSCI 402, Summer 2014, MW Section

Click here to see a PREVIEW of important rules.

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.)
Time MW 10:00am - 11:50am 
Location OHE 136
TA #1 Bo-Chun Wang, E-mail: <bochunwa@usc.edu>, Office Hours: Tue 11:00am - 12:00pm in KAP 150
TA #2 Luenin Barrios, E-mail: <lueninba@usc.edu>, Office Hours: Mon 9:00am - 10:00am in RTH 206 (with RTH Cafe as a backup location)
Grader Bo-Chun Wang, E-mail: <bochunwa@usc.edu>.
Midterm Exam during class, Mon, 7/7/2014 (firm) in SGM 101,  SGM is located in section 4B of the campus map.
Final Exam during class, Mon, 8/4/2014 (firm) in SGM 101,  SGM is located in section 4B of the campus map.
 
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.
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)
  • 7/29/2014: 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 cover everything from slide 9 of Lecture 11 on 6/23/2014 to the last slide of the last lecture (Lecture 21), minus anything in Ch 1 (in lectures 12 and 13).

    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 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
    • Kernel assignments 2 & 3

  • 7/4/2014: Office hour on Monday, 7/7/2014 (after the midterm exam) has been canceled. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 6/29/2014: 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 the end of Lecture 13 on 6/30/2014, with Chapters 5 and 6 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
    • Warmup assignments 1 & 2
    • Kernel assignment 1

  • 6/7/2014: Starting with next Monday (6/9/2014), my permanent summer office hours will be from 12:20pm to 1:20pm in PHE 333.

  • 5/20/2014:
    • In case you did not hear the user ID and password for accessing protected area of this web site during the first lecture, please visit the request access page after 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 5/26/2014.

    • There is another section of CSCI 402, offered by Prof. Michael Crowley on TuTh 12:00pm-1:50pm. There are substantial differences between our section and this section (different textbooks and programming assignments). If you are an ungraduate student, you are required to enroll in Prof. Crowley'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 (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 12.04. Therefore, you should install Ubuntu 12.04 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 Wed Jul 30 2014]    [Please see copyright regarding copying.]