CSE 221: Graduate Operating Systems

Date and Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:30-4:50, Room CSE 4140

Course Instructor: Prof. Joseph Pasquale
- Office hours: Mondays 2-3, in CSE 3112

Teaching Assistant: Erin McGinnis
- Office hours: 8:00-9:50am, Mon/Wed in EBU3B B250A, and by appt


This is a graduate class on operating systems where we critically review some of the more influential operating systems research literature. As a result of taking this class, you will learn the following:


Class Attendance


Course Reading

Throughout your career, especially if you go into research, you will have to deal with the problem of staying current with an ever-growing body of research literature. As you progress, you will find that you have less and less time to spend reading papers. Consequently, it is important to learn how to get the most out of papers in the shortest amount of time.

The first problem is to determine what to read. Given the immense amount of written material that exists and continues to be generated, finding good papers by trial and error can be very inefficient. Fortunately, there are forums where the filtering is done for you; conferences such as SOSP and journals such as TOCS have developed a reputation for the level of scrutiny they use for accepting papers. These and other good forums are the sources of the papers that form our reading list. These will primarily be the "classics," i.e., papers that describe seminal ideas that have stood the test of time. Keep in mind that these papers are a small subset of the good papers out there that could not be included due to space.

The second problem is getting the most out of a paper in the shortest amount of time. You must learn how to quickly identify what a paper is about, always seeking to identify the point -- the "big idea" -- of the paper. By developing a familiarity with the OS literature, you will then be able to compare a paper to other works, noting improvements, mistakes, and trends. Hopefully, this process will help you develop a taste for what is and isn't worth working on, an important quality for being a successful researcher.

Finally, this class involves A LOT of reading. Do your best to keep up. Do not be discouraged if, especially at first, you need to read a paper many times before you begin to understand it; this is normal. Make sure you allot enough time to do so.

Reading List (tentative)

  • Monday, January 7
  • Wednesday, January 9
  • Monday, January 14
  • Wednesday, January 16
  • Monday, January 21
  • Wednesday, January 23
  • Monday, January 28
  • Wednesday, January 30
  • Monday, February 4
  • Wednesday, February 6
  • Monday, February 11
  • Wednesday, February 13
  • Monday, February 18
  • Wednesday, February 20
  • Monday, February 25
  • Wednesday, February 27
  • Monday, March 4
  • Wednesday, March 6
  • Monday, March 11
  • Monday, March 13

    Academic Integrity

    You are expected to follow the UCSD Academic Integrity guidelines, which you can find here.