USC CSD Home
 

Operating Systems - CSCI 402, Summer 2015

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 - 11:55am 
Location OHE 136 
TA Sung-Han Lin, E-mail: <sunghan@usc.edu>
Office Hours: MW 4:00pm - 5:00pm in SSL 108A
Grader Yuying Zhang, E-mail: <yuyingzh@usc.edu>.
Midterm Exam 10am - 11:20am, Mon, 7/6/2015 (firm), in SLH 200,  (SLH is located in section 6C of the campus map).
Final Exam 10am - 11:55am, Mon, 8/3/2015 (firm), in SLH 200,  (SLH is located in section 6C of the campus map).
 
Class Resources
Description   :   textbooks, topics covered, grading policies, additional resources, etc.
Lectures   :   information about lectures (and lectures slides in PDF format).
Videos   :   information about DEN lectures and discussion sections videos.
Discussions   :   information about discussion sections.
Projects   :   programming assignments (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)
  • 7/28/2015: 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 10 of Lecture 13 on 7/1/2015 to the last slide of Lecture 20 on 7/29/2015 (which include the discussion section slides), PLUS anything about Ch 5 in lectures 10 and 11.

    Regarding what types of questions will be on the exam, 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.

    Please note that if you are asked to run the Stride Scheduling algorithm, to get any credit, you must run the one described in Lecture 20 (and not from the textbook).

    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
      • performance improvements
      • crash resiliency
      • directories and naming
      • RAID, flash memory, case studies
    • Ch 7 - Memory Management
      • virtual memory
      • OS issues
    • Kernel assignments 2 & 3

  • 6/28/2015: 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 last slide of Lecture 12 on 6/24/2015, MINUS Chapter 5 (i.e., material in Ch 5 is excluded.from the midterm).

    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
      • specs
      • FAQs
      • my posts to class Google Group
    • Kernel assignment 1
      • spec
      • FAQ
      • my posts to class Google Group

  • 6/23/2015: I have to leave campus at 1:45pm tomorrow (Wed, 6/24/2015). So, I have to shorten tomorrow's office hour by 15 minutes. Please feel free to come by as soon as discussion section is over (at 12:50pm). Sorry about the inconvenience and the short notice.


  • 6/9/2015: I will be out of town on Monday, 6/29/2015. I have to make up the time for that lecture since we cannot afford to lose an hour and 55 minutes of lecture time because there's so much to cover. The "make-up" lecture will be this Wednesday (6/10/2015) from 1pm to 2:55pm in OHE 120 and the lecture video will be available on DEN soon after the recording is done. I'm also moving the office hour tomorrow to 3-4pm since it overlaps with the recording. Sorry about the inconvenience and the short notice.

  • 5/20/2015: As I have mentioned in Lecture 1 that since next Monday is a holiday, I will record next Monday's lecture (Lecture 2) this Friday (5/22/2015). I'm scheduled to do the recording in OHE 100B from 10am to 11:50am. You are welcome to come to the recording session (although you are not required to attend). Please note that OHE 100B is much smaller than the lecture class room. It everyone comes, some students will not have a place to sit. Lecture 2 will cover very important concepts and the video should be available soon after it's recorded. Next Wednesday's lecture (Lecture 3 on 5/27/2015) will pick up wherever Lecture 2 ends. Therefore, it's very important that you watch Lecture 2 before class next Wednesday.

  • 5/10/2015:
    • 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 5/21/2015.

    • Although CSCI 402 is an undergraduate course, these sections are for graduate students only. If you are an ungraduate student, please check with your adviser to see which Operating System class you need to take.

    • Please make sure you attend the section for which you are registered. Click here to see a PREVIEW of important rules. (It would be best if you are familiar with these rules before you register for a particular section of this class. If you are registered in the wrong section, it's best if you switch to the right section NOW because I will not change any of the important rules.)

    • Lecture videos will be available to all students enrolled in CS 402 once the semester starts. Please do the following:
      • Go to http://courses.uscden.net
      • If you have never accessed Desire2Learn, click on "Forgot Your Password"
      • Please note that your "user name" needs to be your entire USC email address (including "@usc.edu")
      • After you click submit you will receive additional instructions

    • Watch this area for important announcements.
 
Prerequisites
In the official syllabus, it is listed that the prerequisites are:
(CSCI 201L or CSCI 455x) and (EE 357 or EE 352L)

Please see:

Apparently, they are the prerequisites for undergraduate students only. The CS department would waive these prerequisites for graduate students. Since undergraduate students are required to take CS 350 for OS credit, there should only be graduate students enrolled in CS 402. Therefore, these prerequisites are really not prerequisites. They should be considered strongly recommended preparation for graduate students.
 
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 29 2015]    [Please see copyright regarding copying.]