CSC 539: Operating Systems Structure and Design
Fall 2003

6:15 - 9:00 Tue
411 Old Gymnasium
Dr. David Reed
207 Old Gymnasium      x2583

Text: Operating Systems Concepts (6th ed., Windows XP Update)   Silberschatz, Galvin & Gagne, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2002.

Course Description

This course will provide an introduction to operating system design and implementation. An operating system is a collection of software that connects users and the physical hardware of the computer. Form the user's perspective, an operating system serves as an interface, making it easier to run applications software and interact with the computer. From a systm perspective, the operating system is a resource allocator, managing shared resources (e.g., disks, networks, processors), providing common services needed by many different programs (e.g., file service, process control, printer access), and protecting individual programs from one another.

The course will begin with a brief history of operating systems over the last fifty years, and then cover the major components of most operating systems. Readings and discussions will focus on the tradeoffs that can be made between performance and functionality during the design and implementation of an operating system. Particular emphasis will be given to three major OS subsystems: process management (processes, threads, CPU scheduling, synchronization, and deadlock), memory management (segmentation, paging, swapping), and file systems. Examples will be drawn from real-world operating systems (e.g., Unix/Linux, Windows, DOS, Mac-OS) as appropriate.

Specific goals for the course include:

Required Work

There will be approximately six homework assignments, some of which will involve programming. Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date specified. Late assignments will receive 75% of full credit if they are handed in within one week of the specified due date. After one week, no credit will be given. In addition, there will be weekly quizzes, a midterm exam and a cumulative final exam.

There is no specific attendance policy for the course, although it is expected that absences will leave the student unprepared for tests and assignments. Quizzes and tests will not be rescheduled except in extreme circumstances. However, the lowest quiz grade will be dropped.

Grades will be determined as follows:

homework assignments 40 %
weekly quizzes 05 %
midterm exam 25 %
(cumulative) final exam 30 %

At the minimum, traditional grading cutoffs will apply. That is, 90% is guaranteed an A, 87% is guaranteed a B+, etc. Depending on class performance, some shifting of grades (in an upward direction only) may occur as final letter grades are assigned.

Policy on Collaboration

The college policy on cheating and plagiarism is spelled out in the Student Handbook. In addition to this, the following guidelines hold pertaining to programs. Programs are to be the sole work of the student -- collaboration on the design or coding of a program is not allowed. Students may seek debugging assistance or clarifications on assignments using the class mailing list:

Repeat: All student interactions regarding homework assignments must take place via the class mailing list!

Tentative Schedule

Sep 2
introduction, overview (ppt)
Chapter 1
computer system structures (ppt)
Chapter 2 HW1: Due 9/23
operating system structures (ppt)
Chapter 3
processes, threads (ppt)
Chapters 4 & 5 HW2: Due 10/9
CPU scheduling (ppt)
Chapter 6
Oct 7
process synchronization (ppt)
Chapter 7 HW3: Due 11/4
deadlock (ppt)
Chapter 8
Nov 4
memory management (ppt)
Chapter 9
virtual memory (ppt)
Chapter 10 HW4: Due 11/25
file systems (ppt)
Chapters 11 & 12
I/O systems (ppt)
Chapters 13 & 14 HW5: Due 12/9
Dec 2
protection & security (ppt)
Chapters 18 & 19
case studies, review (ppt)
Chapters 20 - 22
16 FINAL EXAM     (6:15 - 9:00)