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This course is all about virtualization. Students will learn how classical virtualization works, how modern forms of virtualization such as containers and serverless computing work, and how real datacenters and clouds like AWS use virtualization techniques.

The course will have a mixture of lectures and paper (or online material) reading/discussion. There will be no homework or exams. Grades will be based on a relatively large reserch-oriented project, class participation, paper reading summaries, and quizzes.

Prerequisite: equivalence of undergraduate-level operating systems and computer architecture.

Class information

  • Class time: Mon and Wed 10:00am - 11:20am
  • Location: CSE 4140
  • Instructor: Yiying Zhang (
  • Office hour: Wed 3pm - 4pm (CSE 3124)
  • TA: Will Lin (
  • TA Office hour: Mon 2pm - 3pm (CSE 3144)

Grading (Tentative)

  • Paper reading and class participation 25%
  • Quizzes 15%
  • Project 60%
  • (Bonus) Discussion lead, up to 5pts

Paper reading

Each assigned paper has three questions that you need to answer. Prior to each lecture, you should submit a summary of the paper (in 2-3 sentences) and your answers to the three questions. Submit your paper summary and question answers on Canvas before the corresponding class starts.

Paper discussion

The goals of paper discussion are to both learn what the paper proposes/builds and discuss the topic in a more general setting. All students should actively participate in class discuussion.

To gain bonus points, students can volunteer to lead or co-lead paper discussion. Here are what you need to do for discussion lead:

  • Prepare slides that you will use to lead discussion. You can use slides that are available online, build slides yourself, or extend existing online slides with your own content.
  • Your lead should reflect the goals of paper discussion (above), which means you should not only just explain the paper (using existing online slides) but also prepare questions that will stimulate class discussion.
  • Send draft slides to me no later than noon of the day before the corresponding class date. I will make comments and suggestions, which you should incorporate in the final version. The sooner you send your draft slides to me, the more helpful feedback I can give you.

You can find more advice on discussion lead here

Academic Integrity

As a student at UCSD you are subject to the UCSD POLICY ON INTEGRITY OF SCHOLARSHIP, which enjoins you to respect the highest standards of honesty and integrity. All work that you submit in this course must be your own; unauthorized group efforts are considered academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty is a serious offense which may result in suspension or expulsion from the university. Students are encouraged to report academic dishonesty to the instructor directly, or to the Academic Integrity Office.

Diversity and Inclusion

This course intend to serve students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives well. Students’ learning needs will be addressed both in and out of class. The diversity that students bring to this class will be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit.

For more information, please visit the UCSD DEI website

Students with Disabilities

Any student with disability requiring accommodations in this class is encouraged to contact the instructor.