Course Syllabus – Operating Systems
CS 326 ⋅ Fall 2022 ⋅ 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.
Lecture: Tuesday & Thursday ⋅ 2:40pm – 4:25pm ⋅ HR 430
Lab Session: Friday ⋅ 2:15pm – 4:00pm ⋅ HR 148
Instructor: Matthew Malensek
- In Person: F 1:00pm – 2:00pm in HR 407B
- Remote: M, W 10:00am – 11:00am and 9:30pm – 10:30pm via Zoom
TA: Jackson Crawford
Office Hours: W 12:30pm – 2:30pm ⋅ Th 10:00am-12:00pm in CS Labs
TA: Colin Inns
Office Hours: M, W 4:00pm – 6:00pm in CS Labs
- 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 quizzes, labs, and projects.
Grading and Assessment
The course will be graded on an A-F basis. The grade distribution is:
- Labs: 20%
- Quizzes: 35%
- Team: 5%
- Individual: 30%
- Projects: 45%
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.
Quizzes: Your knowledge of the concepts covered in class will be evaluated via quizzes administered roughly once every 3 weeks. These quizzes 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 quiz will take around 10-15 minutes to complete. While they are short, quizzes constitute a large percentage of your course grade, so be sure to prepare by reviewing course material.
These quizzes consist of two phases: individual and team, with a separate score for each. During the team phase of the quiz, you can discuss the questions with your teammates and come to a consensus on the answers. The individual and team portions of the quiz are turned in separately.
Make-up quizzes are not given unless arranged at least one week in advance, but your lowest quiz score for the semester will be dropped.
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.
Final Exam: This course does not have a final exam. Instead, there will be a cumulative final quiz that covers slightly more material than usual. Since the lowest quiz score is dropped, you may not need to take the final quiz if you did well on the other quizzes throughout the semester. See the Course Schedule for more information.
- 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 quizzes will not be administered unless arranged at least one week in advance.
- Late lab assignments are not accepted. Please note: there are no exceptions to this rule.
- Each student is allocated 3 ‘slip days’ that can be used to turn in projects late.
- To use slip days, continue working past the deadline and submit your project as usual. Our grading software will confirm whether you want to use the slip days and automatically deduct them.
- After you run out of slip days, projects cannot be turned in late, so use your slip days wisely!
- If you do not use your slip days, they will count as 1 point of extra project credit. This means that it may not be worth using a slip day if you only expect to earn a single point with the work you will submit.
USF is strongly committed to providing an in-person learning experience for students. However, your health is also important. If you have health concerns during the semester, please reach out to the course staff.
- Course material will be available online so students can catch up in the event of an absence.
- Attendance is only required when a quiz is administered.
- Your lowest quiz score will be dropped, meaning that you can completely miss one quiz over the course of the semester without it impacting your grade.
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.
- August 23: Classes/late registration begin
- August 29: Last day to add a class
- September 5: Labor day holiday, no classes
- September 9: Census date
- October 17–18: No class, Fall Break
- November 4: Last day to drop courses or withdraw
- November 24–25: Thanksgiving recess
- December 7: Last day of classes
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).