OPERATING SYSTEMS ICOMS W4118, Dept of Computer Science, Columbia University
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GENERAL INFORMATION - http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~nieh/teaching/w4118
Meeting Times and Location: Fall 2003, MW2:40-3:55PM, Location 535 Mudd, Overflow Room 539 Mudd
Prerequisites: COMS W3157 Advanced Programming and COMS W3824 Computer Organization

Description: Design and implementation of operating systems. Topics include process synchronization and interprocess communication, memory management, virtual memory, interrupt handling, processor scheduling, device management, I/O, and file systems. Hands-on study of Linux operating system design and kernel internals. The course has received some press for innovation in being the first to employ virtual machine technology to provide students with hands-on experience in kernel-level development. See VMware Press Release and Dr. Dobb's Journal.

Enrollment: The Fall 2003 enrollment for this class will be limited for on campus students. Please register early if you plan to take this class in Fall 2003. If the class is full and you would like to take the class, please come to the first day of class and sign up on the class waiting list.

Instructor: Prof. Jason Nieh, , 212-939-7160, office hours: MW4-5PM CSC 518
TA and CVN TA: Raghu Arur, rra2002@columbia.edu, office hours: M11AM-1PM, F10AM-12PM TA Rm
TA: Bogdan Caprita, bc2008@columbia.edu, office hours: T4-5PM, R4:30-5:30PM TA Rm
TA: Ron Weiss, ron@cs.columbia.edu, office hours: TR2:30-3:30PM TA Rm
Required Text: Modern Operating Systems (2nd Edition), Andrew Tanenbaum, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2001 (available from Amazon.com and same day Manhattan delivery from Barnes & Noble).
Required Linux Reference: Understanding the Linux Kernel (2nd Edition), Daniel P. Bovet, Marco Cesati, O'Reilly & Associates, Sebastopol, CA, 2002 (available from Amazon.com and same day Manhattan delivery from Barnes & Noble ). See also Errata.
Optional Text: Applied Operating System Concepts, Avi Silberschatz, Peter Galvin, Greg Gagne, John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY, 2002 (available from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble). See also Errata. Three copies on reserve in Engineering Library.
Optional Text: Operating Systems (3rd Edition), Gary Nutt, Pearson Addison Wesley, Boston, MA, 2003 (available from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble). See also Errata.
Computing Requirements: $50 CS account fee required, which will provide on-campus access to x86 PC running Redhat Linux 7.3, GNU C development environment, and VMware Workstation 4.0.2 for Linux. CVN students should have at least telnet access to these facilities.
50%: Homework Assignments: There will be six homework assignments. Your lowest homework assignment grade will be dropped in calculating your grade. Each assignment will have both non-programming and programming problems. The programming problems will involve kernel-level programming in the Linux operating system.
20%: Midterm: The midterm is one class period, closed book, calculator permitted. The midterm will cover all material discussed in the course up to the week before the exam.
30%: Final: The final exam is scheduled at the normal final exam time for this class period. The final is closed book, calculator permitted. The final is cumulative and will cover all material discussed in the course.
0%: No "extra credit" work

All work is due by the date and time specified in the respective assignment; there are no extensions. It is much better to submit partially complete homework on time and get partial credit for your work than to submit late homework for no credit. Homeworks submitted after the respective deadlines when they are due are considered late. Late homeworks will not be accepted unless there is a valid medical or family condition with appropriate documentation submitted to the instructor.

The homework deadline for CVN students is the same as the deadline for in-class students. The only exception to this is that CVN students may submit the individual written part of a homework assignment up to 24 hours after the deadline for in-class students. Note that the deadine for the group programming part of a homework assignment is the same for CVN and in-class students.

Submissions should be made electronically. After a successful submission, you will receive a confirmation email from the class account with a list of files received. In case of not receiving the confirmation, try again and contact the TA staff. You can submit multiple times, but the last submission is what counts. Each submission will be time stamped. Proper submission is your responsibility; we strongly urge you to make sure you understand the submission process and submit early. You can always submit again up until the deadline, so we strongly urge you to submit well before the deadline and then submit again if you have a more updated assignment to submit later.

If you disagree with any homework grade, submit your grievance via email to the grader responsible, documenting the merits of your case. The grader will respond likewise via email. If you are still dissatisfied you may appeal in like manner to the instructor, who will only examine the email record of the dispute, and will respond in email. If you disagree with any exam grade, submit your exam and grievance in writing (not email) to the grader responsible, documenting the merits of your case. The grader will respond likewise in writing. If you are still dissatisfied you may appeal in like manner to the instructor, who will only examine the written record of the dispute, and will respond in email. For a grade dispute to be considered, the written grievance must be submitted in writing within two weeks of when the respective assignment or exam is returned.

For your convenience, all programming can be developed on any machine that can run Linux and VMware. However, only those programs which compile using the gcc compiler on the CLIC machines will be graded. Furthermore, it is critically important that all submitted program listings and executions be thoroughly documented.

All programs must compile and all kernels you modify must also boot; programs and kernels that do not compile and boot will receive a grade of zero. Usually the homework assignments will only state the major objectives of the program to be written; it will be often up to you to make design decisions about things like I/O, efficiency, error handling, and so on. Make sure you provide adequate test cases to indicate the correctness and robustness of your approaches.

We encourage you to help one another in understanding the concepts, algorithms, or approaches needed to do the homework assignments for this class. However, what you turn in must be your own, or for group projects, your group's own work. Copying other people's code, solution sets, or from any other sources is strictly prohibited. Students in previous years have often been caught cheating by copying answers from the web, which turn out to be incorrect. The homework assignments must be the work of the students turning them in. Anyone found violating the class collaboration policy will be punished severely.

All students or groups whose assignments are determined to be obviously very similar will receive a zero on the respective homework assignment for the first offense, and will receive an F for the course for the second offense ("all" means both the copy-er and copy-ee). More serious cases of cheating, such as copying someone's work without their knowledge or cheating on exams, will result in the person cheating receiving an F. In addition, offenses will be reported to the Dean's office, which may result in further disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion from the program. Penalties will be given without discussion or warning; the first notice you receive may be a letter from the Dean. Note that you are responsible for not leaving copies of your assignments lying around and for protecting your files accordingly.

We would like the course to run smoothly and enjoyably. Feel free to let us know what you find just, good, and interesting about the course. Let us know sooner about the reverse. See us, leave us a note, or send us email.