Spring 2010

Clay Shields

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COSC 374 -
Operating Systems

St Mary's 326

Assignments, Projects, and Exams

Textbook and Readings

The textbook for this course will be Operating Systems Concepts, by Silbershatz, Galvin, and Gagne. I have requested the older 7th edition, in hopes it less expensive. Feel free to buy that one.

A highly recommended (though not required) book that will likely help with the projects will is:
Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment (2nd Edition), by Stevens and Rago. This is just a good book to have if you ever do any Unix or Linux development.

A dated but amusing and insightful comparison of operating systems is Neil Stephenson's In the Beginning was the Command Line. It is well worth reading.


  • Instructor: Clay Shields
    Office Hours: Tuesday, 2:00 - 3:30 PM, or by appointment.
    Contact: Information here


All my courses are run under the same set of policies which are available here. Students are expected to read and understand these policies. You can also read the Honor Council site.

Description and Grading

  • Description:
    This course studies the software systems that provide the interface between the computer system hardware resources and the users of the system. This interface is composed of a large collection of programs that provide simplified and uniform access to information storage (data and programs on tape, disk, and in memory), processing elements (CPUs and remote computers), input/output devices (telecommunications, keyboards, mice, video displays, printers, etc.), and data acquisition and equipment control devices. Topics include, processes and threads of execution, concurrent process synchronization, concurrent access to hardware resources, file systems, memory management and virtual memory, job scheduling, system modeling and performance evaluation, network communication and protocols, and computer and network security. A variety of example operating systems of different types will be examined and their characteristics compared. Prerequisites: COSC 175 and 251.

  • Grading:
    • Homeworks and programming exercises: 55%
    • Midterm exam: 20%
      March 3rd, 2010, in class
    • Final exam: 25%
      May 8th, 2010, 12:30PM-2:30PM