CS 321 Spring 2013  >  Syllabus

CS 321 Spring 2013

COURSE:   CS 321 Operating Systems. 3 credits.
  Time & place:   10:30–11:30 p.m. MWF, 106 Chapman.
  Prerequisites:   CS 301.
INSTRUCTOR:   Glenn G. Chappell, Dept. of Computer Science.
  Office:   201B Chapman.
  Office hours:   11:45–1:45 MWF, 9:30-11:30 T, 2:00-3:00 T on spring 2013 class days, or by appointment.
  Office phone:   [474-]5736. This is also voice mail.
  E-mail:   ggchappell@alaska.edu
  Paper mailbox:   Inside the CS Department office, 202 Chapman.
TEXT:   Tannenbaum, Modern Operating Systems, 3rd ed.
Supplementary readings will be provided by the instructor.
WEB PAGE:   http://www.cs.uaf.edu/2013/spring/cs321

Course Topics & Goals

CS 321 covers what computer operating systems do, the various ways they do it, and how to use the facilities they provide. We will emphasize the management of processes/threads, address spaces, and file systems.

After taking this class, students should:

Important Dates

Mon, Jan 21   No class (AK Civil Rights Day)
Fri, Mar 8   In-class Midterm Exam
Mar 11–15   No class (Spring Break)
Fri, Mar 22   Last day to withdraw
Fri, Apr 26   No class (UAF SpringFest)
Mon, May 6   Last regular class meeting
Wed, May 8   Final Exam 10:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. in the classroom


Class meetings—Class meetings will be conducted using a lecture-discussion format.

Homework—Homework will be assigned every week or two, and will consist of both programming and answering questions. Some assignments will be done individually; others will be done in groups. Homework turned in late will generally be penalized.

In order to do the homework assignments, students must obtain access to a C++ compiler with good support for the C++11 standard. One way to do this is to get an account in the Chapman 103 lab; such an account is available to students in this class at no additional charge.

Quizzes—Short in-class quizzes will be given, unannounced. However, possible quiz topics will always be announced in advance. No make-up quizzes will be given.

Presentations—Near the end of the semester, students will give a short (15 minutes) in-class presentation on some aspect of operating systems.

Exams—Two exams will be given: midterm and final. The final will be comprehensive, emphasizing material covered after the midterm. See “Important Dates”.


Course grades will be based on points earned, using a 90-80-70-60 scale. The +/– grading system will not be used. The lowest quiz score will be dropped. Point totals will be as follows.

Assignments, Quizzes, and Presentation (total)   225 pts
Midterm Exam    75 pts
Final Exam   100 pts
TOTAL   400 pts


Students are expected to be at every class meeting on time, and are responsible for all class content, whether present or not. If absence from class is necessary, in-class work (other than quizzes) and homework may be made up only if the instructor is notified as soon as possible; in particular, absences due to scheduled events must be arranged ahead of time.

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated, and will be dealt with according to UAF procedures.

Students in this class must pay the CS lab fee. Payment allows access to the Chapman 103 lab.

UAF academic policies: http://www.uaf.edu/catalog/current/academics
CS Department policies: http://www.cs.uaf.edu/cs/Policies.html

CS 321 Spring 2013: Syllabus / Updated: 17 Jan 2013 / Glenn G. Chappell / ggchappell@alaska.edu