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
COMS W3157 Advanced Programming and
COMS W3824 Computer Organization
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
Press Release and
Dr. Dobb's Journal.
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.
Prof. Jason Nieh,
212-939-7160, office hours: MW4-5PM CSC 518
- TA and CVN TA:
office hours: M11AM-1PM, F10AM-12PM TA Rm
office hours: T4-5PM, R4:30-5:30PM TA Rm
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
OPEN DOOR POLICY
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.