CS 3100 - Operating Systems

General Information

Semester: Summer 1999
Textbook: Operating System Concepts Silberschatz & Galvin
Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: Lifetime Activity Center (LAC) Rm. 125
Instructor: Mark Whitley
Email: mark.k.whitley@gmail.com (both home and work)
Home Phone: 966-1297 (after 10pm is too late to call)
Work Phone: To Be Announced
Class Schedule: Right here

Goals of This Class

We will learn about the following OS related topics:

Homework and Tests

The following is a list of homework assignments and tests for this semester.

Research Paper 20%
Homework (6 @ 5% ea.) 30%
Midterm Exam 20%
Final Exam 25%
Class Participation 5%

Now for some explanations.

Research Paper: This paper should be 4-8 pages in length and cover some topic related to operating systems. Please see the report page for further details. This report will be due on the same day as the final exam.

Homework: As this is largely a theory class, there will not be any programming assignments. I will, however, be assigning problems from the textbook. Assignments will be given for each week, except test weeks. All homework will be due on exam days, e.g. the first three assignments will be due the same day as the midterm, and the last three assignments will be due the same day as the final exam. Please turn all your assignments in on paper (handwritten or typed, I don't care which), and please have your name and the homework number at the top of the page.

Exams: The exams I give will likely have some multiple choice questions, some fill-in-the-blank questions, and possibly some short answer or mini-essay questions. They usually take around half an hour to complete. On days of exams we will usually have the exam durring the first half of class, then have a break, then come back and have a review.

Class Participation: I do not like teaching to a boring audiance. I encourage you to ask pertinent questions and make insightful comments. I recognize that most (if not all) of you are attending this class after a full day of work and that the class is very long, but I do not consider either of these to be good reasons for not participating. If English is your second language, please do not be afraid to participate either, I promise I will not make fun of you.

Lab Work: Occasionally (say once a week or so) we may spend some time in the lab. The purpose of lab work is to see in a more concrete way the rather abstract concepts we will be reviewing. Since this semester is rather short, lab work will be a lower-priority and will not be graded, although involvement in lab activities may be reflected in your participation grade.

Final Grade Breakdown

The grading scale for the final grade will be as follows:

100-93% = A 82.9-80% = B- 69.9-67% = D+
92.9-90% = A- 79.9-77% = C+ 66.9-63% = D
89.9-87% = B+ 76.9-73% = C 62.9-60% = D-
86.9-83% = B 72.9-70% = C- below 60% = E

Please note that this scale applies ONLY to the final grade, and not to individual tests or assignments. (The difference between a 79 and an 80 on a test is the same as the difference between an 80 and an 81, i.e. one point.)

Fine Print and Other Minutia

The instructor reserves the right to capriciously amend the syllabus in any way he deems fit, especially if he figures out that he missed something pretty important when he first sat down to write it.

As this class is rather long (4 hours per night!), I think we would all (myself included) appreciate a rather longish break in the middle so we can all get some dinner. Said break will not be at a specified time, but somewhere in the middle.

If we can cover the material thoroughly and completely, I have no problem with excusing class early; I do not intend to keep you all in class until 10pm "just because".

Students who do not speak English as their first language may use an English-to-[name of your native language here] dictionary on days of tests.

No extra credit will be offered for this class.

Requests for a higher grade will not be honored, even if this is your last class before graduating, or your visa is about to expire. You will receive the grade that you earn.

There will be no makeup tests and no re-tests offered. The only exceptions to this rule will be for legitimate excuses like: "I got in a car wreck" or "I was having a baby the night of the exam". One other excuse that I might buy is if you have to be out of town for a business trip, but I expect to be told in advance about that sort of thing.

On nights of exams, students will be required to ask whether tests are open neighbor.