CSE 451, Introduction to Operating Systems, Autumn 2012
The a good deal of administrative information regarding this course (homework assignments, project assignments, helpful hints, etc.) will be communicated via the class email list. Be sure to check your CSE 451 email at least daily!
Also helpful is the course calendar which contains the reading assignments and due dates for problem sets and the project assignments.
There's a class discussion board with separate threads for various topics.
The text for the course is Operating Systems: Principle and Practice, Anderson and Dahlin. The book is available both at the University Bookstore and via Amazon.com
Readings assigned for each lecture are listed on the course calendar. Hack weeks, lecture topics, exams, homework and project due dates can all also be found on the calendar. Note that you can subscribe to the calendar - this is very convenient.
- Project: 40% (4 parts, each 10% of total)
- Problem Sets: 15% (4 problem sets, each 3.75% of total)
- Midterm: 15%
- Final: 30%
There will be one midterm exam and a final exam for this course.
There will be four problem sets throughout the quarter. The problem sets are to be done individually. They are intended to reinforce the basic material covered in the class and to help prepare students for the final exam.
The core of the course is the project: to design and build a robust web server operating system for PC hardware. The project is to be done in groups of 2-3 people. The project has four pieces, each building on the previous ones and each due roughly every two and a half weeks. This is a very aggressive schedule and so we need every group to get an early start on the assignments.
To help provide you time to complete the project, we set aside two weeks during the quarter (immediately before assignments 3 and 4 are due) as “hack weeks” with no lectures or sections. We will also automatically grant each group four slip days for the project assignments, for you to use at your discretion. There are no slip days for problem sets. Regardless of your remaining slip days, all assignments must be turned in by December 11 at 5pm.
CSE's Academic Misconduct Policy.
Collaboration is a good thing. On the other hand, cheating is a serious offense. Please don't do it! Concern about cheating creates an unpleasant environment for everyone. If you cheat, you risk losing your position as a student in the department and the college. The department's policy on cheating is to report any cases to the college cheating committee. What follows afterwards is not fun -- for anyone!
So, how do you draw the line between collaboration and cheating? A great one-sentence guideline is highlighted in our Academic Misconduct Policy:
"In general, any activity you engage in for the purpose of earning credit while avoiding learning, or to help others do so, is likely to be an act of Academic Misconduct."
Note that this encompasses not just excessive reliance on students who are in
the course this quarter, but excessive reliance on work done in previous quarters,
at other universities, by the textbook authors (e.g., homework solutions that may
be available on the web), etc. (Hopefully it will astonish you
to learn than in past quarters a few students have copied
answers to the textbook exercises from the web, betting that
the TAs were too lazy to type the occasional high-falutin' phrase
into Google. This is a perfect example of "earning credit while
Here are some additional groundrules that may be helpful:
The Gilligan's Island Rule: This rule says that you are free to meet with fellow student(s) and discuss assignments with them. Writing on a board or shared piece of paper is acceptable during the meeting; however, you should not take any written (electronic or otherwise) record away from the meeting. This applies when the assignment is supposed to be an individual effort or whenever two teams discuss common problems they are each encountering (inter-group collaboration). After the meeting, engage in a half hour of mind-numbing activity (like watching an episode of Gilligan's Island) before starting to work on the assignment. This will assure that you are able to reconstruct what you learned from the meeting, by yourself, using your own brain.
The Credit Your Sources Rule: To assure that all collaboration is on the level, you must always write the name(s) of your collaborators or other sources on your assignment. This and other rules are listed in CSE's Academic Misconduct Policy.