USC CSD Home
 

Operating Systems - CSCI 402, Spring 2014, Three Sections

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.)
  AM Section (30391D) Noon Section (29945D+29946D) PM Section (29971D)
Time TuTh 8:00am - 9:20am  TuTh 11:00am - 12:20pm  MW 12:00pm - 1:20pm (NEW) 
Location ZHS 252 OHE 132 WPH B27
TA Michael Chien-Chun Hung, E-mail: <chienchun.hung@usc.edu>
Office Hours: Wed 1:00pm - 3:00pm in SAL 211
Sung-Han Lin, E-mail: <sunghan@usc.edu>
Office Hours: Thu 3:00pm - 5:00pm in SAL 211
Bo-Chun Wang, E-mail: <bochunwa@usc.edu>
Office Hours: Tue 1:30pm - 3:30pm in SAL 211
Grader Prasanth Iyer, E-mail: <piyer@usc.edu>.
(The grader will hold office hours the week after the announcement of each assignment's grades.)
Zhiyi Xu, E-mail: <zhiyixu@usc.edu>.
(The grader will hold office hours the week after the announcement of each assignment's grades.)
Xiang Li, E-mail: <xli101@usc.edu>.
(The grader will hold office hours the week after the announcement of each assignment's grades.)
Midterm Exam during class time, Thu, 3/27/2014 (firm), in MHP 101,  MHP is located in section 7D of the campus map. during class time, Thu, 3/27/2014 (firm). during class time, Wed, 3/26/2014 (firm).
Final Exam 8am-10am, Wed, 5/14/2014 (firm), in SGM 124,  SGM is located in section 4B of the campus map. 11am-1pm, Tue, 5/13/2014 (firm). 11am-1pm, Fri, 5/9/2014 (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.
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)
  • 4/30/2014: 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 40 of Lecture 16 on 3/5,6/2014 to slide 17 of the last lecture (Lecture 29), plus everything about Ch 5 (in lectures 13, 14, and 15). Or, equivalently, everything from slide 41 of Lecture 13 on 2/24,25/2014 to slide 17 of the last lecture (Lecture 29), minus anything in Ch 1 (in lectures 15 and 16).

    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 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
    • Kernel assignments 2 & 3

  • 4/28/2014: Office hour tomorrow (Tuesday, 4/29/2014) has been moved to 1:40pm - 2:40pm. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 4/13/2014: Office hour tomorrow (Monday, 4/14/2014) will only be half an hour long and. it will go from 1:30pm to 2:00pm. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 3/11/2014: 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 slide 39 of Lecture 16 on 3/5,6/2014, 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
    • Kernel assignment 1

  • 4/2/2014: Office hour tomorrow (Thursday, 4/3/2014) will be cut to only half an hour. It will go from 12:40pm to 1:10pm. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 3/23/2014: Office hour this Tuesday (3/25/2014) has been moved to 1:40pm - 2:40pm. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 3/5/2014: Office hour today has been moved to 1:30pm - 2:25pm. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 2/24/2014: Office hour this Tuesday (2/25/2014) has been moved to 1:40pm - 2:40pm. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 2/23/2014: The new office hours for the rest of the semester, starting today, are Mon/Wed 1:40-2:40pm and Tue/Thu 12:40-1:40pm.

  • 12/25/2013:
    • 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 after Lecture 1 on 1/13/2014.

    • There is another section of CSCI 402, offered by Prof. Ted Faber on TuTh 9:30am-10:50am. 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. Faber's section of CSCI 402.

    • 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.)

    • 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 Apr 30 2014]    [Please see copyright regarding copying.]