COMP 421/ELEC 421,  COMP 521/ELEC 552:

Operating Systems and Concurrent Programming

Spring 2021

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This course provides a basic understanding of the software that manages a computer's hardware resources to provide a powerful abstract interface on which user programs execute.  The course focuses on the control and utilization of processor, memory, storage, and network resources.  The concepts in this course include operating system structure, process management and scheduling, interprocess communication, synchronization of concurrent processes, deadlock, main and secondary storage management, virtual memory, file systems, protection and security, and some introduction to networking.

The course content is structured into two parts, a principles part and a projects part.  The lectures and projects have been sequenced so that by the time you are working on a project, we have covered the concepts involved in that project in the lectures.  Your implementation work in the projects will help make those concepts "real" and anchor these ideas in your understanding.

There are two versions of this course: COMP 421/ELEC 421, intended for undergraduate students, and COMP 521/ELEC 552, intended for graduate student.  The lectures for both versions meet together, and the projects and exams for both are the same.  However, for students taking the graduate version of the course, COMP 521/ELEC 552, there will be an additional requirement as part of each of the projects.


News

  • The project assignment for Lab 2 is now available. This project should be done in groups of two students. You are free to pick your own partner for the project. If you need help finding a partner, please read and/or post a followup message on the "Partner" thread (post number 222) on Piazza, letting others in the class know you are looking for a partner and asking who else is looking for one; this thread is currently "pinned" at the top of the list of threads. Your completed Lab 2 is due by 11:59 PM on Friday, April 16, Monday, April 19, 2021.

  • Please see the announcements on Canvas for reading assignments in the textbook.

  • The Canvas site for the course is now available, and the first two videos have been posted there. As announced earlier, due to COVID-19, all course lectures will be delivered as recorded videos that you can watch online, asynchronously, on Canvas.

  • This semester, we will be using Piazza for class discussion. Piazza is a web-based platform that will allow you to post questions about the course material, including the projects, and to quickly receive answers from me, from the TAs, and from your fellow classmates. Please register for COMP 421 on Piazza and check it frequently for any new questions, answers, or other information. To view the Piazza questions and answers, please click on "Q & A" at the top of the Piazza page if it is not already selected.

  • Check back here frequently for any additional or updated news.

 

Course meetings:

  • Due to COVID-19, all course lectures will be delivered as recorded videos that you can watch online, asynchronously, on Canvas.

  Book cover  

Reading assignments:

  • The textbook for the class is Operating System Concepts, Tenth Edition, by Silberschatz, Galvin, and Gagne, 2018. Note that this is the new tenth edition, not the ninth edition as used last year.

    Note that we will cover topics in more depth than in the book, and will also cover some in a slightly different order. There may also be a few additional reading assignments, to be assigned in class during the semester. There will be a lot of material in the lectures that is not in the book.

    Please see the announcements on Canvas for reading assignments in the textbook.

Instructor:

TAs (see the "Zoom" page on the class Canvas site for the office hour schedule and Zoom links):

  • Rohit Chouhan, rlc14%^#@*!&rice.edu
  • Thera Fu, mf43%^#@*!&rice.edu
  • Jian Huang, jh83%^#@*!&rice.edu
  • Amy Huyen, awh4%^#@*!&rice.edu
  • Xinhao Liu, xl59%^#@*!&rice.edu
  • Andrew Obler, ajo2%^#@*!&rice.edu
  • Jamie Tan, jlt10%^#@*!&rice.edu
  • Roger Wang, ryw3%^#@*!&rice.edu
  • Tiancheng Xu, tx10%^#@*!&rice.edu
  • Hongyu Zhang, hz53%^#@*!&rice.edu

Course information: