CMPS 3600 Operating Systems
Sections 1 and 2 - Fall 2020

Instructor and Contact Information
Instructor: Dr. Melissa Danforth
Office Hours: MWF 2:45-3:45pm and TuTh 12:00-1:00pm (link posted on Moodle)
Email: or ( goes to my phone)

Instructional Student Assistant: Clark Gumba

Virtual Class Information
Moodle website:

Course meets MW 12:00-1:15pm (lecture) and F 10:00am-12:30pm (lab) on Zoom (Zoom information will be posted on Moodle).

Due to the last-minute changes with this course, attendance will not be required for any of the course sessions, but it is strongly encouraged so you can ask questions in an interactive format.

Contact me if you have any issues with attending sessions, such as Internet issues, power outages, technical difficulties, work conflicts, or other university excused absences.

Webcams will not be required of students. I have configured Zoom to allow phone call-ins and to mask phone numbers for those who have to call in to attend.

Videos of the lectures and lab demos will be posted to Moodle after processing and closed-captioning. Give at least a day for that to occur (longer if the automatic closed-captioning requires significant editing).

Virtual Team and Group Assignments
Working in teams or groups is optional in this course. If you do opt to form a team for the project or work in groups on the group assignments, you must complete that work virtually, with no face-to-face meetings. Use virtual collaboration tools such as Slack, Discord, Zoom, MS Teams, etc. to manage your group work and team work.

Catalog Description
CMPS 3600 Operating Systems (4)
A study of the introductory concepts in operating systems: historical development of batch, multi-programmed, and interactive systems; virtual memory, process, and thread management; interrupt and trap handlers, abstraction layer, message passing; kernel tasks and kernel design issues; signals and interprocess communication; synchronization, concurrency, and deadlock problems.
Prerequisite: CMPS 2020 with a grade of C- or better.
Prerequisites by Topic
Programming skill in a high level language (preferably C or C++)
Knowledge of data structures and algorithms

NOTE: This course makes extensive use of the C programming language. Students who have only learned C++ should review a C tutorial for the differences between C ("pure C") and C++. Transfer students who have CMPS 2020 credit due to a Java course will need to take a more intensive self-directed study of the C programming language, as there are many syntax differences between C and Java.
Units and Contact Time
4 semester units. 3 units lecture (150 minutes per week), 1 unit lab (150 minutes per week).
Required for CS and CE.
Required Textbook
Operating Systems: Internals and Design Principles, 9th edition by William Stallings, Pearson. (earlier editions are also acceptable)
Recommended Texbook and Other Supplemental Materials
The ANSI C Programming Language by Kernighan and Ritchie
The Linux Programming Interface by Michael Kerrisk
Melissa Danforth
Student Learning Outcomes
This course covers the following ACM/IEEE Computer Science 2013 Body of Knowledge student learning outcomes in Operating Systems (OS):

This course covers the following ACM/IEEE Computer Engineering 2004 Body of Knowledge student learning outcomes in Operating Systems (CE-OPS): This course covers the following ACM/IEEE Computer Engineering 2016 Body of Knowledge student learning outcomes in System Resource Management (SRM):
ABET Outcome Coverage

The course maps to the following performance indicators for Computer Science (CAC/ABET) and Computer Engineering (EAC/ABET):

(CAC Outcome 1) An ability to analyze a complex computing problem and to apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions.
Laboratory and homework assignments
(CAC Outcome 2) An ability to design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements in the context of the program's discipline.
Final project
(EAC Outcome 1) An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
Laboratory and homework assignments
(EAC Outcome 2) An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
Final project
(EAC Outcome 6): An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgement to draw conclusions.
Laboratory and homework assignments
Lecture Topics and Rough Schedule
WeekChapterTopic list
Week 1Chapters 1 & 2 Operating systems overview
Week 2Chapters 1 & 2 Historical development
Week 3Chapter 3 Process description & control
Week 4Chapter 4 Principles of threaded programs
Week 5Chapter 4 SMP & microkernels
Week 6Chapter 5 Principles of concurrency
Week 7Chapter 5 & Appendix A.1 Semaphores
Week 8Chapter 6 Principles of deadlock & starvation
Week 9Chapter 6 Linux kernel concurrency
Week 10Chapter 7 Memory management
Week 11Chapter 8 Virtual memory
Week 12Chapter 9 Uni-processor scheduling algorithms
Week 13Chapter 10 Real-time scheduling
Week 14Chapter 11 I/O scheduling
Week 15Chapter 15 Security issues
The schedule of topics is subject to change, depending on the pace of the course in this term. Specific topics for each week will be posted on Moodle.

Attendance is not required. Students are responsible for their own attendance. Recordings of the classes will be posted to Moodle after processing.

Academic Integrity Policy
You may discuss the assignments with others in the class. A message board is also available on Moodle for discussions.

If the assignment is a group assignment, the group can turn in one assignment for the entire group. If the assignment is an individual assignment, each student must turn in their own work in their own words; no direct copying from any source is allowed.

Refer to the Academic Integrity policy in the campus catalog and class schedule for more details. You can also refer to the Academic Integrity policy at the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities at

Academic Accomodations
To request academic accomodations, please contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) and email me an accomodations letter from the SSD Office. Policies from the SSD Office relating to accomodations, such as scheduling policies for using their testng center, must also be followed. For more information about the services and policies of the SSD Office, contact their staff by email and/or visit their website at

Basic Needs Assistance
If you are experiencing challenges related to basic needs, such as food insecurity, housing insecurity, or other challenges, there are resources available to you. The campus Food Pantry, located next to the Student Union, is open with reduced hours during Fall 2020. The Food Pantry also has information about services and monthly food distributions. Please visit the Food Pantry website for hours and information. For housing concerns and other basic needs, please contact the Campus Advocate at 654-6210 or Jason Watkins, Assistant Director for Basic Needs, at 654-3360.

Final Project25%
Midterm Exam25%
Final Exam25%

The standard academic grading scale as posted in the campus catalog is used to convert the weighted score to a letter grade.

Grades are posted on Moodle. Note: Moodle does not penalize your grade for any ungraded assignments, so it will show your "current" overall percentage based off the classwork graded to-date.

It is your responsibility to check Moodle for grades and any comments on assignments. If you believe you submitted your assignment on time but the comment field says "assignment not received", contact me.

Lab assignments will be posted on the course website. The labs are due at 11:55pm on the following Thursday. Partial credit will be given for incomplete labs. Labs can be submitted one-day late (Friday at 11:55pm) for a 10% late penalty. If you have a reason for turning the assignment in late that would fall under the university excused absence policy, email me to discuss.

You may work on labs in groups of up to 3 students. If you work in a group, only one student needs to submit the assignment, but make sure to put everyone's names on the assignment each week. Only the students whose names are on the assignment will get credit for the lab. If you are in a group but are not the one submitting the assignment to Moodle, you may put a comment in Moodle's Note field indicating who did submit the assignment for your group.

Submit your work to Moodle and I will grade it during my next grading session. Do NOT email your submission as the campus spam system sometimes silently blocks emails with attachments.

Homework assignments and due dates will be posted on the course website. Partial credit will be given for incomplete homework submissions. Homework can be submitted one-day late for a 10% grade penalty. If you have a reason for turning the assignment in late that would fall under the university excused absence policy, email me to discuss.

Assignments must be turned in via the Moodle website. Do NOT email your submission as the campus spam system sometimes silently blocks emails with attachments.

Homeworks may be discussed with others in the class, but every student must turn in their own assignments in their own words. Copying from other students, the Internet, previous solutions, the textbook, etc. are all considered violations of the Academic Integrity Policy.

Moodle Submission Guidelines
Submissions must be in LibreOffice/OpenOffice (ODT), Word (DOC or DOCX), PNG, JPEG, GIF, or PDF format. TXT and RTF files have had issues being uploaded to Moodle by students in the past, so I would recommend avoiding those formats.

You may also write your answers in the Moodle Notes section if you can adequately answer them in Moodle's text box. Note that the Moodle text box does not handle metacharacters like < or &. Rather than using those characters, spell it out, e.g. "less-than", "lt", "and", etc. If you have a large number of these characters, it is safer to upload a file rather than use the Moodle text box.

Moodle records the last time you edit the Notes field or upload a file as the submission time for the assignment. You do not need to hit the "Submit for Grading" button for me to see your work.

If you have drawn something out by hand, take a picture or use a scanner and upload the image to Moodle. Please keep the file sizes reasonable, but also make sure the image is legible.

If you submit multiple files, please name them in a fashion that indicates what they contain, e.g. hw1_q2_drawing.jpg, hw2_part1.pdf, hw2_part2.pdf, and so on.

If you have any difficulties submitting to Moodle, contact me or Steve Garcia for help. Emailed submissions are not guaranteed to be accepted since my email volume is so high and the spam detection software can silently drop emails.

Final Project
Each student will be expected to complete a final coding project on Odin that meets a set of given criteria at the end of the term. The final project is the culminating experience for the laboratory assignments, and each requirement is associated with specific skills and coding techniques learned during the lab sessions. Details and requirements for the project will be posted on Moodle.

Midterm Exam
The midterm exam will be available on Moodle from 8:00am Thursday October 8, 2020 to 11:55pm Friday October 9, 2020. When you begin the midterm on Moodle, you will have a 2 hour and 30 minute countdown timer to complete the exam.

If you have any connectivity, power, or technology issues (hopefully not meatball sandwich issues) that cause you to lose connection to Moodle during the attempt, email me as soon as possible so I can reset your attempt.

It is your responsibility to log in to Moodle and take the midterm during this time frame. I do not give make-up midterm exams. If you miss the midterm and you believe you have a valid university excused absence, contact me as soon as possible and I will evaluate the situation. For students where I approve the absence as an excused absence, the final exam will count for both the midterm and final weight in the grade calculation. For students without an approved excused absence, the midterm exam will be recorded as a 0 in the grade calculation.

Final Exam
Session 1: Friday December 11, 2020 from 11:00am-1:30pm (NOTE: This is later than the class normally meets on Friday so plan accordingly)

Session 2: Friday December 11, 2020 from 2:00-4:30pm (NOTE: This is later than the class normally meets on Friday so plan accordingly)

Only one session needs to be attended, but two sessions are being scheduled since people may have time conflicts. Each student can choose which session they wish to attend.

If you cannot make one of the scheduled final exam sessions due to conflicts with another final, if you have more than two finals scheduled on that day, or you have any other known conflicts with the final exam sessions, arrange an alternative time with me at least ONE WEEK in advance. If many students have a conflict, a third session may be arranged.

If you have any connectivity, power, technology or other issues that cause you to lose connection to Moodle during the final exam or if you had an unforeseen time conflict come up during both sessions, contact me as soon as possible. I will list real-time contact methods on Moodle during both final exam sessions, and you can email me after the session if your interruption lasts that long.

Prepared By
Melissa Danforth on August 19, 2020
Approved by the CEE/CS Department in Spring 2014
Updated for new ABET outcomes and Body of Knowledge areas in Spring 2019
Effective Fall 2020