CSIS 460 - Operating Systems
Dilbert Strip

Course Description

A study of the organization and architecture of computer operating systems. The major principles of operating systems are presented, along with case studies involving actual operating systems.


Dr. David M. Hansen




At the end of this course students will be familiar with
  • what an operating system is,
  • how it provides the interface between hardware and user-programs,
  • what an operating system does,
  • the hardware resources it manages,
  • how the operating system performs these tasks,
  • how to programmatically utizlize the system-progamming-level interface of an operating system
Specific operating systems may be examined, but no particular operating system will be studied in-depth. Distributed operating systems may also be discussed.

Course Organization

This course will include programming exercises demonstrating operating system concepts. Author-provided lecture notes, which I may use during class, are available online.

Programming assignments will be carried out in a prescribed high-level language. Limited instruction in the use of this language will be provided. You are assumed to have previous experience with one or more high-level languages and will be expected to acquire the language skills necessary for this course with a minimum level of instruction.

The course will include regular homework and programming assignments (please see my comments on collaboration and programming). Assignments are due before 11:59pm on the due date; there will be NO CREDIT given for late assignments (without an excused absence) - turn in as much as you can.

Reading assignments should be completed before the lecture covering the material. Not all reading material will be covered in the lectures, but you will be responsible for the material on homework and exams. Quizes over the assigned reading may be given at any time.

The Vision Statement of the Computer Science and Information Systems majors states that our students are distinctive by: "Bringing a Christ-centered worldview to our increasingly technological world." As one step towards the fulfillment of this objective, each semester, we will identify an influential Christian writing to be read and reflected upon by students in our classes throughout the term. This will be treated as an official component of every course and will be uniquely integrated and assessed at our discretion, generally as a component of the quiz grade. See the semester's reading schedule. In addition, regular meetings will be scheduled throughout the semester that can be attended for Chapel credit.

It is my hope that students will not view this as one more task to complete, but as a catalyst for continued discussion ultimately leading to a deeper walk with Christ.

The chief end of man is to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever.
(Westminster Confession)

If you have specific physical, psychiatric, or learning disabilities and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office as early as possible so that your learning needs may be appropriately met. You will need to provide current documentation of your disability to the Disability Services Office. For more information, go to ds.georgefox.edu or contact Rick Muthiah, Dean of the Center for Teaching and Learning (ext. 2314)


Grading Scale

The final grade will be based on:

Tentative Schedule

Week DateTopicReading
1 1/19 Introduction 1.1-1.5
1/21 Overview 1.6-1.14
2 1/26 Operating System Services 2.1-2.6
1/28 Operating System Structures 2.7-2.13
3 2/2 Processes and Scheduling 3.1-3.3
2/4 Interprocess Communication 3.4-3.7
4 2/9 Threading 4.1-4.4
2/11 Threading Issues 4.5-4.7
5 2/16 Mini-break
2/18 CPU Scheduling & Intro to C 5.1-5.9; PDF
6 2/23 Process Synchronization 6.1-6.3
2/25 Semaphores 6.4-6.7
7 3/2 Java Synchronization 6.8-6.11
3/4 Deadlocks 7.1-7.3
8 3/9 Dealing with Deadlock 7.4-7.8
3/11 Main Memory 8.1-8.3
9 3/16 Midterm Exam
3/18 Paged Memory 8.4-8.8
10 3/23 Virtual Memory 9.1-9.6; skim 9.7-9.11
3/25 Mini-break
11 3/30 File Concept 10.1-10.3
4/1 File-System Interface 10.3-10.7
12 4/6 File System Structure 11.1-11.3
4/8 File-System Management 11.4-11.7; 11.10
13 4/13 Disk-Based Storage 12.1-12.4
4/15 RAID 12.5-12.10
14 4/20 I/O Systems 13.1-13.5; 13.8
4/22 Security and RTOS Skim 14; 15.1-15.5; 19.1-19.3
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