CPCS 508 Graduate Operating Systems
2020 Winter Term 2 (i.e., Spring 2021)

Tuesday/Thursday 9:30 - 11:00

Home Syllabus Background Lecture Notes Piazza Group

Everything you need to know about this course on the first day

  1. This is a class about conducting systems research. While the papers we read and the projects you do will fall into the domain of operating systems (very broadly construed), what you learn will be relevant to conducting research in any systems-oriented field, and from what I've been told, it's also pretty helpful for less-systems fields as well.
  2. I will assume you understand operating systems at the level of an undergraduate course in operating systems.
  3. The class web site is http://www.seltzer.com/margo/teaching/CS508.21/. Please join the Piazza group linked there.
  4. Today's lecture notes are available on the lectureNotes page of the course site. For all remaining classes, at least one of the instructors will have notes about each paper; we expect that you will take your own notes, but after class we make our notes available. (It's possible that you can find Margo's existing notes in various places; we actively discourage you from looking for those before class; they will taint your thoughts about the paper and will bias you in how you interpret it.)
  5. Today's class will be unlike the rest of the course. Today, the instructors will do a fair bit of talking and then we'll do a bit of group work. For the rest of the semester, nearly every class will be a group discussion about readings (the group work today is to try to give you a sense of what that will be like).
  6. The course has five primary components:
    • One assignment (Research reproduction)
    • Reading research papers (roughly two per class)
    • Mock Program Committee: try your hand at reviewing papers
    • Exam(s): 3 quizzes on the reading.
    • Final project: research proposal, research plan, extended abstract, oral presentation, written report
  7. You will undoubtedly find the first day's lecture notes useful throughout the semester, but you will find the sections on, "Why we read research papers," and "How to Read Research Papers" particularly relevant in preparing for Thursday's class.
  8. Important: Before coming to class you are responsible for reading and participating in the piazza discussion on each paper we will cover in class. We will start a new thread with a posting whose title is that of the paper. In it, we will give you our rationale for why we are reading the paper and will then suggest some things to think about while reading the paper. The first person to comment on the post, and that person only, may write a summary of the paper. The rest of the class should post thoughts, reactions, questions, etc. about the paper. Think critically about the paper -- what did you like? what didn't you like? do you have questions about the paper? do you wish they'd done something differently? do you want to compare it to another paper? do you want to respond to something someone else wrote? do you wish we'd suggested that you think about something different from what we suggested? Please have your comments posted before 8:00 AM on the day of class (e.g., post them the night before), so we all have a few minutes to read what has been posted.
  9. If you are planning on taking the course, please sign up for the Piazza group ASAP.