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CS 4410 - Operating Systems

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General Information Edit

In 2015, this class will be offered every semester (previously only offered in Fall).

Prerequisites Edit

You need to have taken CS 3410 or ECE 2300 + CS 3420 (crosslisted as ECE 3140). Don't take this class without those.

Topics Covered Edit

Processes and Threads

CPU Scheduling



Physical and Virtual Memory Management


Disks and RAID

File Systems

System Security

Workload Edit

If you're not taking the practicum, the overall workload is very low, however be warned that it comes in waves, whenever a mini-project is due.

The workload in the practicum is quite high. The first project is the only easy and short one; the third is easy, and the second and fourth are both very difficult and very time-consuming. I honestly spent more time on this class than 3110 and took them at the same time.

^Seconded. This is a very difficult class. I took this at the same time as CS 3110 and CS 4320 and found both of those very easy in comparison to this class, even though it's only 3 credits. The material is quite easy, however the tests are very specific and long, and the above two miniprojects (though you get to skip them if you're taking the prac) were difficult and impossible, respectively. I did end up getting a good grade in the end, though (the class definitely is curved, regardless of what the professors say).

General Advice Edit

Don't push off "mini" projects. They may take longer than you expected. (leave at least a few days to be safe). Approach helpful TAs in OH to clarify writeup (one of the wordiest and unclear writeups you'll ever see).

Can't really study much for prelim/final in my opinion (assuming you have been going to lectures). Make sure you can solve sync problems with ease and correctness for the prelims.

Testimonials Edit

The mini projects have a wordy writeup, but they are pretty fun and you'll learn from each one. Python is also a neat choice of language.

Sirer is a boss.

Don't be fooled by the wording - there is nothing "mini" about the projects. The 4th one is probably by far the largest project you'll ever see in Cornell CS outside of Compilers/OS Prac.

It seems that the rigor of the projects may be changing. As of Fall 2013, Project 4 was less than 10 hours of work. No project took more than ~15 hours.

^^ This makes no sense because the projects haven't changed in years.

Past Offerings Edit

Semester Time Professor Median Grade Course Page
2013 FA TR 2:55 - 4:10 Emin Gun Sirer, Robbert Van Renesse B
2012 FA TR 2:55 - 4:10 Emin Gun Sirer B+

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