CSE 221: Graduate Operating Systems

Winter 2005

Geoff Voelker (voelker@cs.ucsd.edu)
AP&M 5131
(858) 822-3323
Tue/Thu 9:30am - 10:50am
Warren Lecture Hall (WLH) 2204
Office Hours
Voelker: Mon 3-4pm, Wed 4-5pm (or by appointment)
I would strongly recommend an undergraduate operating systems textbook as a reference. The text I use in CSE 120 is:
Silberschatz, Operating System Concepts, Wiley, 6th Edition (Windows XP Update)
ISBN 0-471-25060-0

   Course Objectives

The purpose of this course is to teach computer software system structures from a design point of view. We will look at different structuring techniques, and we will examine their usage in both important historical systems and in modern systems.

In addition to learning about different system structures and different operating systems, you will learn:

  • How to read a research paper in an objective manner.
  • How to write a critical analysis of the research described in a paper.
  • How to articulate your understanding of and insights into a research paper.
  • How to synthesize research themes and topics across multiple papers.
   Reading List

We will be reading and discussing two papers each class period according to the following schedule:

   Class Participation

The structure of this class is unusual in that there are no lectures or presentations during the class period. Instead, we will discuss research papers that we will have all read before each class period. I will lead discussions by asking questions of students at random in class. Note that your answers to these questions form an appreciable portion of your overall grade, so it is important that you both show up to class as well as read the papers carefully.

Because of the unusual format of this class, I will not grade you on class participation during the first two weeks of class.

  We will have 3-4 written homeworks:

  In the course project you will measure various aspects of system performance:


The in-class exam is March 10 at 9:30am. Questions on the exam will be similar to questions on the homework and in the reading list. Two past exams that you can use as study aids are:

  The grading breakdown for the course is:
  • Class participation: 25%
  • Homework: 15%
  • Project: 30%
  • Final: 30%