CS 161: Operating Systems

Tuesday/Thursday 1:00-2:30

Pierce 301

James Mickens & Margo Seltzer

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Spring 2016 CS161 Course Syllabus

A Note on Notes

On more conventional class days we frequently prepare notes designed to help us guide the class through the topics we want to cover. We may intentionally leave things off the slides that are good for class discussion. Our goal is that significant parts of the material we cover will be derived in real-time during class through whole-class discussions, small group interactions, Q&A, or any other technique we can use to engage you in thinking deeply about the material.

For example, when we want to compare two approaches to something, We will often leave a slide blank. During class, we might ask you to fill in the comparison in small groups or we might do it all together as a class or we might set up a debate. The rationale is that there is often more than one right answer. We might evaluate the tradeoffs differently; our words are not the final word, and you will learn to make your own decisions about tradeoffs by practicing doing so. So, please don't be surprised if you skip class and find that the slides posted on the web site don't tell the whole story; they are not intended to tell the whole story. The whole story includes class time.

How to read this Syllabus

Collaboration Policy


Week Date Topic Pre-Class Prep Assignments
1 1/26 Introduction and Administrivia None Pre-Class Survey (Please complete before Thursday's class)
1/28 Building kernels, synchronization, and control transfer Administrivia video (PDF) (10:28)
History video(PDF) (25:10)
Synchronization(PDF) (28:06)
(Web work: it is embedded in the videos.)
Read 1.1-1.3.1 (supplements videos)
2 2/2 Processes: The Inside Scoop Inside a process (PDF) (16:21)
State transitions (PDF) (8:05)
Very quick survey
(Web work: it is embedded in the videos.)
Discussion of web work questions
Chapter 2 should be review; please check it out
2/4 Trap Handling; Domain Crossing OS Structure (PDF) (28:30)
Switching and Crossing (PDF) (43:35)
Read 3.1
A1 Due 11:59 PM
3 2/9 A2 Peer Design Review Read How to Write a Design Doc
Bring two copies of your (completed) A2 Design Doc to class
2/11 Scheduling (PDF) (17:41) Read 5.3
A2 Design Doc Due Friday 9:00 PM
Please Complete this survey after you submit your design
4 2/16 Scheduling Case Studies (PDF)
2/18 Virtual Memory (PDF) (44:05) A2 Intermediate Survey (please complete on Friday) Read 7.1, 7.2
5 2/23 TLBs & Paging (PDF) Read 7.3
2/25 Paging (PDF) (26:07) Office Hours! 6:15 PM until ... in Pierce 301 A2 Due Friday at 5:00 PM
A2 Final Survey (please complete after you submit A2
6 3/1 Paging & Midterm Review (PDF) (17:20) Submit 2-3 midterm questions None
3/3 Midterm Survey Complete before 9:00 AM on 3/3 None
7 3/8 A Deep Dive on A3 (PDF) Read A3 Carefully None
3/10 A3 Peer Design Review Bring two copies of your (completed) Design Doc for A3 to class A3 Design Doc Due Friday at 9:00 PM
A3 post-design survey
8 3/15Spring BreakNoneNone
3/17Spring BreakNoneNone
9 3/22 File Systems (PDF)(31:51) Video on how disks work (PDF) (11:56) Read 6.1
3/24 Naming and Directories (PDF) (35:33) A3 Intermediate Survey Read 6.3
10 3/29 FFS (PDF) Read 6.2, 6.4, 6.5
3/31 File System Recovery( PDF) (30:10) Read 6.6
Office Hours! 6:15 PM until ... in Pierce 301
A3 Due Friday at 5:00
A3 Final Survey
11 4/5 Journaling (PDF) (39:19) Read 10.1-10.5
4/7 Log-structured File Systems (PDF) (28:21) None None
12 4/11 Pre-A4 Web Work(due 9:00 PM)
4/12 Peer Design Review Bring your (completed) Design Doc for A4 to class
4/14 Virtualization (PDF) A4 Design Doc Due Thursday at 5:00 PM
A4 post-design survey
13 4/19 Security I (PDF) None
4/21 Security II (PDF) T-Shirt Vote and Order
A4 Intermediate Survey
14 4/26 Course Wrap Up None A4 Due Wednesday at 5:00 PM
4/29 Reading Period Office Hours! 6:15 PM until ... in Pierce 301 Classwide extension on A4 until Friday at 5:00 PM
A4 Final Survey
15 5/7-5/9 Take home final Exam 24 Hours Due between 9:00 AM 5/7 and 5:00 PM 9/9
16 5/9 PARTY! 5:00 PM (T-shirts, pizza & ice cream) Final Survey