Course Syllabus – Operating Systems
CS 326 ⋅ Spring 2021 ⋅ 4 Units
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.
Lectures: Tuesday & Thursday ⋅ Zoom Live Stream
- Section 1: 9:55am – 11:40am
- Section 2: 2:40pm – 4:25pm
Lab Session: Friday ⋅ Zoom Live Stream
- Section 1: 3:30pm – 4:35pm
- Section 2: 4:45pm – 5:50pm
Instructor: Matthew Malensek
HR 406 (Zoom)
Hours: M, F 10:00am – 11:30am ⋅ T, Th 9:00pm – 10:00pm
Appointments: Sign Up ⋅ Personal Zoom Link
TA: Daniel Barajas
Hours: M 6pm – 8pm, W 11:30am – 1:30pm
Appointments: Sign Up ⋅ Personal Zoom Link
TA: José Corella
Hours: T, Th 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Appointments: Sign Up ⋅ Personal Zoom Link
- CS 220 (C and Parallel Programming) or CS 221 (C and Systems Programming) with a grade of C or better.
- CS 245 (Data Structures and Algorithms) with a grade of C or better.
- An understanding of basic data structures such as linked lists, queues, trees, and hash tables.
- Good C programming skills.
- Required textbook (available free online): Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces. Remzi H. Arpaci-Dusseau and Andrea C. Arpaci-Dusseau.
- Operating Systems: Principles and Practice, 2nd Edition. Thomas Anderson and Michael Dahlin.
- Extreme C: Taking you to the limit in Concurrency, OOP, and the most advanced capabilities of C. Kamran Amini. Packt Publishing.
- The C Programming Language, 2nd Edition. Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie. Prentice-Hall, 1988.
- Head First C: A Brain-Friendly Guide. David Griffiths and Dawn Griffiths.
After completing the course, students will be able to:
- Configure a Linux-based operating system and work from the shell
- Understand and evaluate operating system implementations
- Understand the implementation of fundamental OS structures, including threads, processes, synchronization, system calls, scheduling, virtual memory, and file systems
- Develop and debug systems software
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:
- Labs: 10%
- Exams: 40%
- Projects: 50%
Grades will be assigned as follows:
|100 – 93||A|
|92 – 90||A-|
|89 – 87||B+|
|86 – 83||B|
|82 – 80||B-|
|79 – 77||C+|
|76 – 73||C|
|72 – 70||C-|
|69 – 67||D+|
|66 – 63||D|
|62 – 60||D-|
|59 – 0||F|
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.
- Do not cheat. Review the Honor Code, and if in doubt about whether or not something is cheating, ask the professor.
- The course staff will run cheat detection software that includes past assignments.
- “Collaboration” that involves sharing code/solutions is considered cheating.
- If you cheat, you will get a 0 on the assignment or an F in the class.
- Submit code via GitHub. Commit your changes frequently as you work on the assignments.
- Grading will be carried out on the VMs we set up in class. If your code does not compile or run on your VM, you receive an automatic 0.
- Due dates are posted on the course schedule page. Assignments are due at 11:59pm on the due date.
- Makeup exams will not be administered unless arranged at least one week in advance.
- Late lab assignments are not accepted. There are no exceptions to this rule.
- Late projects are deducted 10% per day for a maximum of three days. Afterward, no credit will be given.
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.
- January 29: Last day to add classes
- February 12: Census Date (last day to drop classes with a refund)
- February 15: No class, Presidents’ Day
- March 15–19: No class, Spring Break
- April 1: Easter Holiday begins at 4:00pm
- April 2: No class, Easter
- April 12: Last day to drop classes or withdraw
- May 13: Last day of class
Students with Disabilities
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All students are expected to behave in accordance with the Student Conduct Code and other University policies (see http://www.usfca.edu/fogcutter/). 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.
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- Plagiarism – intentionally or unintentionally representing the words or ideas of another person as your own; failure to properly cite references; manufacturing references.
- Working with another person when independent work is required.
- Submission of the same paper in more than one course without the specific permission of each instructor.
- Submitting a paper written by another person or obtained from the Internet.
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- To report any sexual misconduct, students may visit the Title IX coordinator (UC 5th floor) or see many other options by visiting usfca.edu/student_life/safer.
- Students may speak to someone confidentially or report a sexual assault confidentially by contacting Counseling and Psychological Services at (415) 422-6352.
- To find out more about reporting a sexual assault at USF, visit USFs Callisto website at: usfca.callistocampus.org.
- For an off-campus resource, contact San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR) (415) 647-7273 (sfwar.org).