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Operating Systems - CSCI 402, Spring 2015, All 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.)
  MW Section (29971D) AM Section (30331D) DEN Section (29945D+29946D)
Time MW 12:25pm - 1:45pm (NEW)  TuTh 9:30am - 10:50am  TuTh 11:00am - 12:20pm 
Location ZHS 252  SOS B46  OHE 132 
TA Sung-Han Lin, E-mail: <sunghan@usc.edu>
Office Hours: Fri 3:00pm - 5:00pm in VHE 210
Michael Chien-Chun Hung, E-mail: <chienchun.hung@usc.edu>
Office Hours: Fri 1:00pm - 3:00pm in VHE 210
Hao Xu, E-mail: <hxu1@usc.edu>
Office Hours: Fri 11:00am - 12:00pm in EEB 435
Course Producer (none) (none) Weikang Feng, E-mail: <weikangf@usc.edu>
Help Desk Hours: Mon 7:00pm - 9:00pm in LVL 17
Grader Xin Zhang, E-mail: <zhan413@usc.edu>.
(The grader will hold office hours the week after the announcement of each assignment's grades.)
Pruthwin Kadmaje Giridhara, E-mail: <kadmajeg@usc.edu>.
(The grader will hold office hours the week after the announcement of each assignment's grades.)
Shailesh Kayambady Sathyanarayana Bhat, E-mail: <kayambad@usc.edu>.
(The grader will hold office hours the week after the announcement of each assignment's grades.)
Midterm Exam during class time, Wed, 3/25/2015 (firm) during class time, Thu, 3/26/2015 (firm) during class time, Thu, 3/26/2015 (firm)
Final Exam 11am-1pm, Fri, 5/8/2015 (firm). 8am-10am, Tue, 5/12/2015 (firm). 11am-1pm, Tue, 5/12/2015 (firm).
 
Class Resources
Description   :   textbooks, topics covered, grading policies, additional resources, etc.
Lectures   :   information about lectures (and lectures slides in PDF format).
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)
  • 4/30/2015: 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 41 of Lecture 13 on 2/23,24/2015 to the last slide of Lecture 29 on 4/29,30/2015, MINUS anything in Ch 1 (in lectures 15 and 16).

    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 28 (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
      • crash resiliency
      • directories and naming
      • RAID, flash memory, case studies
    • Ch 7 - Memory Management
      • virtual memory
      • OS issues
    • Kernel assignments 2 & 3

  • 4/29/2015: Tomorrow's office hour (Thu, 4/30/2015) will be extended by half an hour. So, it will go from 1:30pm to 3pm.

  • 4/27/2015: I have to leave campus at 12:30pm tomorrow (Tue, 4/28/2015). So, I have to cancel tomorrow's office hour. Sorry about the inconvenience and the short notice.

  • 4/22/2015: I have to leave campus at 2pm tomorrow (Thu, 4/23/2015). So, I have to shorten tomorrow's office hour by half an hour. Sorry about the inconvenience and the short notice.

  • 4/8/2015: Lecture 21 DEN video is partially broken. After time index 25:45, the slides part of the screen was stuck all the way to the end of lecture. I will re-record that part (starting with slide 22) this Friday morning (4/10/2015).

    Also, I have a meeting to go to this Friday between 1 PM and 3PM, so Sung-Han will lead the DEN discussion section this Friday (and his regular discussion section at 12 PM is cancelled). Sorry about the inconvenience.


  • 3/29/2015: To accommodate CS 531 midterm regrades, I have to adjust my office hours this week (3/30-4/2) and just for this week. On M/W, I will need to end my office hours half an hour early. On Tu/Th, I will need to move my office hours half an hour earlier. So, my office hours this week will be:
    • Monday (3/30): 2-2:30pm
    • Tuesday (3/31): 1-2pm
    • Wednesday (4/1): 2-2:30pm
    • Thursday (4/2): 1:30-2:30pm

  • 3/15/2015: In the last lecture, I mentioned that with memory mapping in hardware, a user process will not be able to access the memory of another user process or the kernel. Here's a recent article that talks about how this may not be the case any more! The article mentioned something called PTE and we will talk about it in the next lecture.

  • 3/12/2015: 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 slide 23 of Lecture 16 on 3/4,5/2015, 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

  • 3/12/2015: Michael's discussion section tomorrow (3/13/2015 from 11am to 11:50am in GFS 116) is canceled. You can attend any other threee discussion sections if you'd like. Sorry about the inconvenience and the short notice.

  • 2/23/2015: Office hour this Tuesday (2/24/2015) is cancelled and moved to Wednesday (2/25/2015) 3:00pm - 4:00pm. Sorry about the inconvenience and the short notice.

  • 2/19/2015: Discussion sections on 2/20/2015 from 10am to 1pm has been cancelled. I will conduct the DEN discussion section tomorrow from 1pm to 1:50pm. Please watch the DEN discussion lecture live on http://courses.uscden.net or watch the video there after 3pm tomorrow.

  • 1/19/2015: I have to leave campus right after lecture tomorrow. So, I have to cancel office hours tomorrow (Tue, 1/20/2015). Sorry about the inconvenience and the short notice.

  • 1/12/2015: Lecture videos should be available to all students enrolled in any section of CS 402. 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

  • 12/20/2014:
    • 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 1/14/2015.

    • 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.)

    • 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 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 Tue Oct 13 2015]    [Please see copyright regarding copying.]