6522 Syllabus
CSc 6522
Spring, 2018
Topics in Operating Systems
3 Credits
Instructor:Tom Bennet
Office:302 MCC
Text:ACM Digital Library
Web Page:http://sandbox.mc.edu/~bennet/cs6522/syl.html

A survey of landmark and recently published papers in the area of operating systems. Prerequisites: CSc 5422, 422, or equivalent.

Computer hardware can perform no function without software, and the essential piece of software in any computer system is the operating system. All other software depends on services provided by the OS, and cannot function without these services. Because of their importance, techniques for the correct, efficient, and usable design of operating systems has been under development for some fifty years.

Instruction in this course is through lecture and class discussion, problem-solving, and library research. Students will be assigned to read specific classical and current papers, and to research topics in the library. Specific papers and topics will vary from semester to semester.

After completing this course with a passing grade, students will understand the history of the ideas behind modern operating systems, and how they have changed. Students will be able to read and understand the current operating systems research literature.


Students will be graded on the following activities:
Discussion Participation50
Class Presentations100
Regular Exam50
Paper or Project200
Each student will be assigned material to present at class meetings. This may be the contents of papers from the literature, the results of work the student has done, or some other presentation appropriate to the class. The instructor will attempt to honor student requests to present specific topics, but will have the final say.

There will be at least four 20-point quizzes, either in-class or take-home. Each will be a single essay question about a paper recently presented, usually on the same day. During a quiz, you may consult any books, papers or notes you like, but you may use no devices more sophisticated than a ball-point pen. All computers, calculators, phones and electronic translators must be stored out of sight.

The midterm exam will be an essay exam with questions similar to the quizzes. It may be given in-class or take-home. Some time before the exam, the instructor will specify exactly which papers will be covered.

The term project may be a library research paper, or present the results of the student's own work. The topic must be approved by the instructor. A research paper must be at least eight pages single-spaced, using reasonable fonts and margins. It must have at least 15 references. A programming project should be accompanied by a short paper (one page is usually sufficient) describing what it does and how to run it. A project which does not involve original programming, experimentation or measurement will not be awarded no more than 180 points.

The final exam for this class will be April 26, during the regular class period.

The last day to drop this course is Friday, March 23, 2018.

ACM Digital Library

Students must have access to the ACM Digital Library. To access the text of articles from this library, you must join the ACM and buy the digital portal. For students, this costs $42, which is less than the cost of a printed textbook in many classes. Here is the student membership application. (Choose the membership plus digitial library, unless you a particularly want the CACM on paper.)


Mississippi College class attendance policies as described on pp. 46 and 47 of the college catalog will be enforced. Absences may be excused for illness or other appropriate cause. Exams missed due to circumstances beyond the student's control may be made up at a mutually agreeable time and place. Adequate documentation of the cause of an absence may be required.

Academic Honesty

Mississippi College regulations regarding the integrity of academic work will be enforced. The computer science group has established the following addendum:

In a computer science class individual effort is expected. Student misconduct not only includes cheating on tests, but also extends to copying or collaborating on programming assignments, projects, lab work or research unless otherwise specified by the instructor. Using other people's accounts to do your work or having others do your work is prohibited. Close proximity in lab does not mean collaboration is permitted. NOTE: Discussing logical solutions to problems is acceptable, exchange of code, pseudocode, designs, or procuring solutions from the Web, other texts, the Internet or other resources on or off campus is not acceptable.

First offense: grade of 0 for all parties involved unless the guilty party can be determined. Second offense: grade of F in the course.