Course Syllabus – Operating Systems

CS 326 ⋅ Fall 2021 ⋅ 4 Credits

Operating systems are found in nearly every modern computing device, from phones and tablets to workstations and the cloud. An operating system (OS) manages hardware resources (CPU, memory, disks, etc.) and provides a layer of abstraction to make working with these resources easier.

In this course, you will learn the fundamentals of operating system design and implementation. This includes system calls, inter-process communication, virtual memory, networking, and file systems.

Course Information

Lecture: Tuesday & Thursday ⋅ 12:45pm – 2:30pm ⋅ Zoom Live Stream
Lab Session: Friday ⋅ 2:15pm – 4:00pm ⋅ Zoom Live Stream

Instructor: Matthew Malensek
Office: HR 406 (Zoom)
Hours: T, Th 4:00pm – 5:00pm ⋅ W, F 11:00am – 12:00pm
Appointments: Sign Up Personal Zoom Link

TA: Ryan Tjakrakartadinata
Hours: M, W, F 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Appointments: Sign Up Personal Zoom Link



Learning Outcomes

After completing the course, students will be able to:

Each of these learning outcomes will be evaluated via exams, labs, and projects.

Grading and Assessment

The course will be graded on an A-F basis. The grade distribution is:

Grades will be assigned as follows:

100 – 93A
92 – 90A-
89 – 87B+
86 – 83B
82 – 80B-
79 – 77C+
76 – 73C
72 – 70C-
69 – 67D+
66 – 63D
62 – 60D-
59 – 0F

This scale is subject to change; scoring in the ranges above guarantees you will receive at least the grade listed.

Labs: There will be several lab assignments over the course of the semester. These assignments are designed to give you a chance to practice what you’ve learned and get feedback on your progress.

Exams: Your knowledge of the concepts covered in class will be evaluated via 5 mini-exams administered once every 3 weeks. These exams are intended to make sure you’re not only learning the programming concepts from class, but also the theory and reasoning behind why operating systems are designed the way they are. Each exam will take around 10-15 minutes to complete via Canvas. While they are short, mini exams constitute a large percentage of your course grade, so be sure to prepare by reviewing course material.

Projects: The best way to learn is by putting theory into practice. This course features large projects that count for the majority of your grade. If you haven’t taken a 300-level course in the CS department yet, these projects tend to be much more involved and require extensive planning/implementation.Remember to start early, ask questions, and go to office hours if necessary.

Participation: While attendance is not required in this class, you are encouraged to participate. This includes asking/answering questions during lecture or on the discussion board. To earn points during class, ask or answer a question (ideally write your question/answer in the Zoom chat so it’s easy for us to give you credit). Participation on the discussion board is based on the number of “likes” your posts get (instructors will “like” helpful posts, and your peers can as well!)

Grading Policy:

Late Policy:

Classroom Conduct

You are here to learn. Be professional and courteous toward your peers, and help create a learning environment that supports diverse thinking, experiences, perspectives, and identities. If you need to use an electronic device during a lecture, do so in a way that doesn’t distract others. And most importantly, be excellent to each other.

Important Dates

Students with Disabilities

The University of San Francisco is committed to providing equal access to students with disabilities. If you are a student with a disability, or if you think you may have a disability, please contact Student Disability Services (SDS) at or 415 422-2613, to speak with a disability specialist. (All communication with SDS is private and confidential.) If you are eligible for accommodations, please request that your accommodation letter be sent to me as soon as possible; students are encouraged to contact SDS at the beginning of the semester, as accommodations are not retroactive. Once I have been notified by SDS of your accommodations we can discuss your accommodations and ensure your access to this class or clinical setting. For more information please visit the SDS website:

Behavioral Expectations

All students are expected to behave in accordance with the Student Conduct Code and other University policies (see Students whose behavior is disruptive or who fail to comply with the instructor may be dismissed from the class for the remainder of the class period and may need to meet with the instructor or Dean prior to returning to the next class period. If necessary, referrals may also be made to the Student Conduct process for violations of the Student Conduct Code.

Academic Integrity

As a Jesuit institution committed to cura personalis – the care and education of the whole person – USF has an obligation to embody and foster the values of honesty and integrity. USF upholds the standards of honesty and integrity from all members of the academic community. All students are expected to know and adhere to the University’s Honor Code. You can find the full text of the code online at The policy covers:

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

CAPS’ diverse staff offers brief individual, couple, and group counseling to student members of our community. CAPS services are confidential and free of charge. Call (415) 422-6352 for an initial consultation appointment. Telephone consultation through CAPS After Hours is available Monday - Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 a.m., 24 hours during weekends and holidays; call the above number and press 2. Further information can be found at

Confidentiality, Mandatory Reporting, and Sexual Assault

As instructors, one of our responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment on our campus. We also have a mandatory reporting responsibility related to our role as faculty. We are required to share information regarding sexual misconduct or information about a crime that may have occurred on USF’s campus with the University. Here are some useful resources related to sexual misconduct: