CSCI4500 Operating Systems (Fall 2020)

Undergraduate course, UNO, 2020

An operating system is an abstraction of computer system hardware; it manages the sharing of various hardware and software resources among the users of the computer system. The parallel history of hardware and operating system development introduces many key concepts including, for example, processor modes, direct memory access (DMA), device controllers, and virtual memory. Basic approaches to kernel organization and implementation are considered. This is often the first course in which students encounter concurrency and concurrent programs. Additional topic areas include system performance evaluation (particularly relating to processor and memory management), security, virtualization, resource allocation and scheduling, and file systems.

Administrative Information

  • Instructor: Pei-Chi Huang
  • Email: phuang at unomaha dot edu
  • Office Hour: Wednesday 9:00 - 10:00 AM via Zoom or by appointment
  • Class Info: TTH 3:00PM - 4:15PM or 4:30PM - 6:00PM, Remote Learning
  • Course Schedule


CSCI 3710 (Introduction to Digital Design and Computer Organization), CSCI 3320 (Data Structures), and MATH 1950 (Calculus I). CSCI 4350 (Computer Architecture) is recommended; open only to students in the School of Engineering and declared Computer Science minors.

Tanenbaum and Woodhull, Operating Systems: Design and Implementation (3rd edition), Prentice-Hall (2006)

Supplemental materials

  • The online book Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces by Remzi H. Arpaci-Dusseau and Andrea C. Arpaci-Dusseau (indicated by OSTEP; this book is available for purchase at the site above if you prefer a print copy)
  • Operating System Concepts 9th Edition, by Abraham Silberschatz, Peter B. Galvin, and Greg Gagne.

Get Odin account

You need to apply for an account at Odin: IS&T Core Linux Server to finish your programs. More details are shown below: Please email to UNO IST support (Email: uno-ist-support at unomaha dot edu) if you have any questions about Odin. **Please get one asap. Don’t wait until the last-minute, always finish ahead of deadlines. **


There will be six homeworks, three programming assignments, one midterm and one final. The final course grade will be computed as follows:

  • Homework and Quizzes: 16%
  • Programming Assignments: 30%
  • Midterm: 22%
  • Final 32%

If you have questions regarding the grading of homework, programming assignments, midterms and final, you MUST come to see the instructor WITHIN ONE WEEK after the date your homework, programming assignments, or exams have been returned to you.

Grading Type

Letter grades will be determined using the weighted average of the various items used to evaluate students. A typical grade mapping is illustrated below.

97 – 100%A+
93 – 96%A
90 – 92%A-
87 – 89%B+
83 – 86%B
80 – 82%B-
77 – 79%C+
73 – 76%C
70 – 72%C-
67 – 69%D+
63 – 66%D
60 – 62%D-
0 – 59%F

Late Policy

Homeworks and Programming Assignments are subject to late penalty. Here is the point deduction policy: 20% deduction (late by 1 day), 40% deduction (late by 2days), 80% deduction (late by 3 days), and no credit if late by more than three days.

Contact the instructor in case of medical emergency, and a written proof from your doctor is required. You are allowed to extend one more day after the approval.

Academic Integrity

You may discuss the homeworks and assignments with anyone and use any reference materials, but provided you do not copy any other person’s work. We will follow the University Policy on Academic Integrity regarding any cheating and plagiarism. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the contents of this page, as you are responsible for its contents.


Reasonable accommodations are provided for students who are registered with Accessibility Services Center (ASC) and make their requests sufficiently in advance. For more information, contact ASC (Location: 104 H&K, Phone: 402.554.2872, Email:


This schedule, and the links contained in it, are subject to change during the semester. Exam dates, however, are final. Readings from additional sources are linked from the schedule. All reading assignments are required and are expected to be completed before class on the schedule day.

Date TopicAssignment
(to be completed before class)
TueAug. 25Introduction & Themes 
ThurAug. 27Introduction to Operating Systems & HistoryReading: ch.1.1 - 1.2
TueSep. 01Introduction to Operating Systems & HistoryReading: ch.1.3 - 1.4
ThurSep. 03Basic Operating Systems ConceptsReading: ch.1.4 - 1.5
TueSep. 08Processes and File SystemsReading: ch.2.1
Homework 1 Available
ThurSep. 10Processes and File SystemsReading: ch.2.2
Program 1 Available
TueSep. 15Redirection
Homework 1 Due (Upload to Canvas)
Homework 1 Solution
ThurSep. 17ConcurrencyReading: OSTEP: Common Concurrency Problems, pages 1-11 (stop at “Deadlock Avoidance via Scheduling”)
Homework 2 Available
TueSep. 22Communication & Synchronization - Part 1Reading: ch.2.3
OSTEP Lock (skip 28.8-28.11)
ThurSep. 24Communication & Synchronization - Part 1Reading: OSTEP: Monitors
Homework 2 Due (Upload to Canvas)
Homework 2 Solution
TueSep. 29Communication & Synchronization - Part 2Reading: ch.2.4
The Multi-Level Feedback Queue
ThurOct. 01Communication & Synchronization - Part 2Reading: ch.3.1
Homework 3 Available
TueOct. 06Classic Task Communication - Part 1Reading: ch.3.2
ThurOct. 08Classic Task Communication - Part 1Reading: ch.3.3
Program 1 Due, 11:59pm
TueOct. 13Classic Task Communication - Part 2Program 2 Available
ThurOct. 15SchedulingReading: CPU Scheduling
Homework 3 Due (Upload to Canvas)
Homework 3 Solution
TueOct. 20Semester Break (Student Holiday) - No classes 
ThurOct. 22 Midterm Anytime, 75 mins
TueOct. 27SchedulingReading: ch.4.1
ThurOct. 29DeadlockReading: OSTEP Address Spaces
TueNov. 03DeadlockReading: ch.4.2
Homework 4 Available
ThurNov. 05Memory Overview - Part I: Memory Partition and RelocationReading: ch.4.3
TueNov. 10Memory Overview - Part II: Techniques and SwappingReading: ch.4.4
Program 2 Due, 11:59pm
Program 3 Available
ThurNov. 12Memory Overview - Part II: Techniques and SwappingReading: ch.4.5
Homework 4 Due (Upload to Canvas)
Homework 4 Solution
TueNov. 17Virtual Memory - Part I: Mechanisms (Address Translation and Page Tables)Reading: ch.5.1
Homework 5 Available
ThurNov. 19Virtual Memory - Part II: Policies (Page Replacement Algorithms)Reading: ch.5.2
TueNov. 24[Input/Output Hardware]Reading: Distributed Systems for Fun and Profit, by Mikito Takada, Chapter 2
Homework 5 Due by Nov. 25 (Upload to Canvas)
Homework 5 Solution
Homework 6 Available
ThurNov. 26Student Holiday - No classReading: Chapter 3, The Google File System
TueDec. 1[Input/Output Software]Reading: ch.5.3
ThurDec. 3Attend a Conference - No classReading: ch.5.4
Homework 6 Due (Upload to Canvas)
Homework 6 Solution
TueDec. 8[Put It All Together]Reading: ch.1-ch.5 and slides
ThurDec. 10Prep weekReading: ch.1-ch.5 and slides
Program 3 Due at 11:59pm
ThurDec. 17 Final Exam Reading: Textbooks & all slides
Anytime, 90 mins