Syllabus: CS 377: Operating Systems (Spring 2001)
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Course Materials


This course will provide an introduction to operating system design and implementation. The operating system provides a well-known, convenient, and efficient interface between user programs and the bare hardware of the computer on which they run. The operating system is responsible for allowing resources (e.g., disks, networks, and processors) to be shared, providing common services needed by many different programs (e.g., file service, the ability to start or stop processes, and access to the printer), and protecting individual programs from one another.

The course will start with a brief historical perspective of the evolution of operating systems over the last fifty years, and then cover the major components of most operating systems. This discussion will cover the tradeoffs that can be made between performance and functionality during the design and implementation of an operating system. Particular emphasis will be given to three major OS subsystems: process management (processes, threads, CPU scheduling, synchronization, and deadlock), memory management (segmentation, paging, swapping), file systems, and operating system support for distributed systems.


CMPSCI 187: Programming with Data Structures, and CMPSCI 201: Architecture & Assembly Language, or ECE232 or equivalent, with grade of 'C' or better.

[In plain english: you need to have an understanding of computer architecture and have Java/C programming skills]

Requirements and Grading

You are expected to attend class regularly, read the assigned reading before class, and participate in class discussions.

Late Policies

This course covers a lot of material and late assignments will seriously impact your ability to learn the next section of the course. Late programming assignments will be penalized 10\% per day, up to 4 days. Late homeworks will not be accepted (no exceptions). Please try to finish your assignments and homeworks on time.

Cooperation and Cheating

Feel free to discuss homework and labs with other members of the class, myself, or the TA. However, do not look at or copy another students solution to a homework or lab. I am not concerned with how you come to understand the problem and how to solve it, but once you have the background necessary to solve it, you must provide your own solution. Exchanging homework or lab solutions is cheating and will be reported to the University, and you will lose credit for the course. Cheating will not be tolerated. A student found cheating on an exam will receive an automatic grade of F on the exam, and likely will fail the course as well.


ECE ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY A new Honor Code Policy is being instituted for all ECE students, the result of a joint initiative between students in Eta Kappa Nu (the ECE student honor society) and the Faculty of the ECE Department. The purpose of this policy is to emphasize engineering ethics as an important part of your education and career, and to enhance the value of your ECE degree from UMass. Simply put, the policy requires that each ECE student demonstrate high ethical standards by attesting to personal honesty and integrity for each examination taken. The policy fits within the framework of the existing Academic Honesty Policy of the University, and is similar to that used by other universities.

On the last page of your midterm exams and final exam, you will be expected to write out and sign your name to the Honor Code Pledge:

"On my honor, I have not given nor received aid on this exam."

This statement reflects your personal commitment to honesty and ethical practice in the taking of an exam. If you have not written and signed this, you will be contacted by the instructor.

Cheating will not be tolerated. A student found cheating on an exam will receive an automatic grade of F on the exam, and likely will fail the course as well.

Copyright notice: Many of the materials created for this course are the intellectual property of the instructor. This includes, but is not limited to, the syllabus, lectures and course notes. Except to the extent not protected by copyright law, any use, distribution or sale of such materials requires the permission of the instructor. Please be aware that it is a violation of university policy to reproduce, for distribution or sale, class lectures or class notes, unless copyright has been explicity waived by the faculty member.

Csaba Andras Moritz

Last modified: Wed Jan 17 10:59:31 EDT 2001