Computing & Software Systems

CSS430: Operating Systems
Spring 2016 Syllabus

MW 8:00-10:00pm Classroom UW1-051


Stephen Dame <>, Office Location(Truly House) MW 6:30-7:30PM (or by appointment)

Course Description

This course introduces the logical design of operating systems, especially focusing on the design in Java. Topics covered include processes, threads, CPU scheduling, synchronization, deadlocks, memory management, virtual memory, file systems, I/O systems, protection, and security used in the popular desktop and real-time operating systems.

Prerequisites: CSS343

Class Communication

Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) will be used for notices, discussions, assignment, submissions and individual grade logs. Please visit the Canvas Site to access your Canvas page for this class.


Note that this is a tentative ordering of OS topics. Chapters will take approximately the allotted time during the quarter.

Week Date Topics Chapters Reading Assignment
1 Mar-28 Introduction
In-class Linux IDE orientation
1 pp. 3-47  
Mar-30 OS Structures 2 pp. 49-100 Program 1 assigned
2 Apr-4 Processes 3 pp. 103-152  
3 Apr-11 Threads 4 pp. 153-192
Apr-13 CPU Scheduling 5 pp. 193-239 Program 1 due 
Program 2 assigned
4 Apr-18  
Apr-20 Process Synchronization 6 pp. 241-312
5 Apr-25
Apr-27 Deadlocks 7 pp. 313-347 Program 2 due
Program 3 assigned
6 May-2 Midterm exam in class [ 1 - 7 ]    
May-4 Main Memory 8 pp. 351-391
7 May-9  
May-11 Virtual Memory 9 pp. 393-457 Program 3 due 
Program 4 assigned
8 May-16  
May-18 File-System Interface 10 pp. 461-500
9 May-23 File-System Implementation 11 pp. 501-549
May-25 Final Project Explanation
Protection & Security
 14/15  pp. 635-715 Program 4 due
Project assigned
10 May-30 Memorial Day Holiday  
Jun-1 Review and Wrap-up
11 Jun-6 Final exam in class [ 8-11, 14-15 ]
Jun-8 Final project due at 3:30pm

Coursework Distribution

Coursework Percentage Points
Assignment 1 8% 80
Assignment 2 8% 80
Assignment 3 8% 80
Assignment 4 8% 80
Midterm Exam 25% 250
Final Exam 25% 250
Class Discussions 4% 40
Final Project 14% 140
TOTAL 100% 1000

All grades will be listed as percentages in the Canvas LMS. The conversion table below will help you determine your final grade. For example, if you earn 950 points (or 95%) you will get a 4.0. If you earn 750 points (or 75%) you will earn a 2.0.

A - 100%-90% B - 89%-80% C - 79%-70% D - 69%-62% E - 61%-below

100%–95% = 4.0
94% = 3.9
93% = 3.8
92% = 3.7
91% = 3.6
90% = 3.5

89% = 3.4
88% = 3.3
87% = 3.2
86% = 3.1
85% = 3.0
84% = 2.9
83% = 2.8
82% = 2.7
81% = 2.6
80% = 2.5

79% = 2.4
78% = 2.3
77% = 2.2
76% = 2.1
75% = 2.0
74% = 1.9
73% = 1.8
72% = 1.7
71% = 1.6
70% = 1.5

69% = 1.4
68% = 1.3
67% = 1.2
66% = 1.1
65% = 1.0
64% = 0.9
63% = 0.8
62% = 0.7

= .6 (Failing)

Grading Criteria:

Total of 1000 points available

  1. The baseline points above are the standard allocations.
  2. Class attendance is very important and 10 total points are given for attendance throughout the quarter.
  3. Weekly homework assignments count as extra credit (1-2 points each depending on the difficulty of the homework assignment)
  4. Participation and in-class activities = 2 points each with an extra point given for leading the discussion.


  1. Operating System Concepts with JAVA,8th edition, Abraham Silberschatz, Peter Galvin, and Greg Gagne, Addison-Wesley, 2009.
  2. A Java book of your choice.

Some Java Books:

Video Learning Products:



All programs except the final project are to be done independently. Any collaboration of work will result in severe penalty. You may discuss the problem statement and any clarification with each other, but any actual work to be turned in, must be done without collaboration.

The final project may be done by a team of two, (or three students if you cannot find a single partner), in which case each student must achieve an equally amount of work. (If you work with other two students, you must explain the reasons in your report, otherwise you will receive only 2/3 of the full score.) For the detailed instructions, see the project assignment sheet.

Any homework is due at the beginning of class on its due date. Please submit homework and programs via the Canvas LMS assignment upload facilities. Submissions may be postponed only in exceptional events such as accidents, sickness, sudden business trips, and family emergencies. You may turn in your homework late by coordinating with me (which may require written proof). No make-up exams will be given except under exceptional circumstances. Barring emergencies, I must be informed before the exam if you plan to be absent.

To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disability Resources for Students (DRS) UW1-175, (email:, TDD: 425-352-5303, and FAX: 425-352-3581). If you have a documented disability on file with the DSS office, please have your DRS counselor contact me and we can discuss accommodations.

Course Goals:

The overall goal of CSS 430 is to learn fundamemtal concepts that are used in and applicable to a variety of operating systems. The course consists of three major concepts: (1) process management that schedules, executes, synchronizes with events, and terminates your application programs, (2) memory management that loads your programs in memory and allocates/deallocates memory space they requested dynamically, and (3) file system that provides the mechanism for on-line storage of and access to both data and programs residing on the disks. The course also covers protection, (and security if time allows) which are essential to have modern operating systems work in the Internet computing world. Through the course, we will use Java to illustrate many operating-system concepts. Using Java, you will implement each concept of process management, memory management, and file system. As with most technical courses, besides ability and motivation, it takes time to learn and master the subject. Expect to spend an additional 10 to 15 hours a week outside of class time on the average.


Class Discussions:

Each chapter has its own lecture slides in a ppt file that includes one or more discussion topics and non-turn-in exercises. The class is divided into groups of 4 or 5 students, each discussing about a different topic for several minutes and presenting the dicussion summary in the class. We are planning to have eight or more class discussions through the quarter, although not having scheduled specific discussion dates yet. Your participation in each discussion counts 0.5% of your entire grade, which ends up with 4% by attending minimum eight discussions. If we eventually have more than eight dicussions and you attend all of them, you will receive extra credits.

A discussion group will be dynamically formed in the class. For instance, students sitting closer or on the same desk can form a group. I will give each group a piece of scratch paper or transparency. You should summarize your discussions, write down the names of all group members, and turn it in to me. Each group should elect a group representative who will give a short presentation in the class. A representative will be rewarded with 0.1% extra credits for his/her presentation.