CSCI4500 Operating Systems (Summer 2020)

Undergraduate course, Remote Learning, 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.

Course Information

  • Venue: Remote Learning
  • Date: May 18, 2020 - Jun 26, 2020
  • Time: MW 5:30PM - 8:25PM
  • Location: See the Canvas

Administrative Information

  • Instructor: Pei-Chi Huang
  • Email: phuang at unomaha dot edu
  • Office Hour: Mon. 8:30 - 9:30 PM or by appointment
  • 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

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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)
MonMay 18Introduction & Themes
Introduction to Operating Systems & History
Reading: ch.1.1 - 1.2
WedMay 20Basic Operating Systems ConceptsReading: ch.1.3 - 1.5
Homework 1 Available
Program 1 Available
MonMay 25Memorial DayReading: ch.2.1 & OSTEP Lock (skip 28.8-28.11)
WedMay 27Processes and File SystemsReading: ch.2.1 & OSTEP Lock (skip 28.8-28.11)
Homework 1 Due & Solution (Upload to the Canvas)
Homework 2 Available
MonJane 1ConcurrencyReading: OSTEP: Common Concurrency Problems, pages 1-11 (stop at “Deadlock Avoidance via Scheduling”)
WedJane 3Communication & Synchronization - Part 1Reading: ch.2.2-2.3
OSTEP: Monitors
Program 1 Due, 11:59pm
Program 2 Available
Homework 2 Due & Solution (Upload to the Canvas)
Homework 3 Available
MonJane 8Communication & Synchronization - Part 2The Multi-Level Feedback Queue
WedJane 10Classic Task Communication - Part 1
Classic Task Communication - Part 2
Reading: ch.3.2-3.3
Homework 3 Due & Solution (Upload to the Canvas)
Homework 4 Available
FriJane 12 Midterm Anytime, 75 mins
MonJane 15SchedulingReading: CPU Scheduling
WedJane 17DeadlockReading: ch.4.1- 4-2 & OSTEP Address Spaces
Program 2 Due, 11:59pm
Program 3 Available
Homework 4 Due & Solution (Upload to the Canvas)
Homework 5 Available
MonJane 22Memory Overview - Part I: Memory Partition and Relocation
Memory Overview - Part II: Techniques and Swapping
Reading: ch.4.3 - 4.4
WedJane 24Virtual Memory - Part I: Mechanisms (Address Translation and Page Tables)
Virtual Memory - Part II: Policies (Page Replacement Algorithms)
Reading: ch.4.5, ch.5.1 - 5.2
Homework 5 Due & Solution
Program 3 Due, 11:59pm
FriJane 26 Final Exam Anytime, 75 mins