Operating Systems (Fall 2014) Course Outline

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Course Information

  • Course Number: COMP 3000
  • Term: Fall 2014
  • Title: Operating Systems
  • Institution: Carleton University, School of Computer Science
  • Instructor: Anil Somayaji (anil.somayaji at carleton.ca): Wed. 1-3 PM in HP 5137
  • Teaching Assistants: (office hours in HP 1170)
    Ann (Annie) Fry (afry at ccsl.carleton.ca): Wed. 10 AM to 12 PM
    Hala Assal (HalaAssal at cmail.carleton.ca): Mon. 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
    Michael Bingham (mbingham at ccsl.carleton.ca): Tue. 1-3 PM
  • Lectures: Wed. and Fri 8:35-9:55 AM in TB 210
  • Tutorials (in HP 4155):
    Monday 2:30-4 PM (Annie, Hala, Michael)
    Friday 2:30-4 PM (Anil, Annie, Hala)
  • Course Website: http://homeostasis.scs.carleton.ca/wiki/index.php/Operating_Systems_%28Fall_2014%29

Official Course Description

Operating system implementation course stressing fundamental issues in design and how they relate to modern computer architectures. Assignments involve the modification and extension of a multitasking operating system.


The marking scheme for this course is:

  • 20% for weekly assignments (lowest grade dropped)
  • 20% for tutorial participation
  • 25% for the Midterm Exam, on October 22nd (Wednesday) during class
  • 35% for the Final Exam (during the Final Exam period)

I also calculate grades using alternative marking schemes at the end of the semester, assigning the highest grade for each student from any of the marking schemes. Thus your final grade may be higher than might be suggested by strict following of the above scheme.


This wiki page is the canonical source of information on this course. Please refer to it for updates. When significant changes are made to this document it will be either announced in lecture and/or posted in the course discussion forum.

Course discussions will be on cuLearn. While you may discuss assignments there, do not post outright answers to them. You may post in either the Questions and Answers forum or the General Discussion forum.

You may get an account on class wiki so you can edit content there. Email Prof. Somayaji to get one with your preferred username and email address to which a password should be sent. (Note this is not a requirement.)


Collaboration on all work is allowed except for the midterm and final exams. Collaboration, however, should be clearly acknowledged. Further, all submitted work should be your own. While you may get help from others and even collaboratively solve technical problems, the code and answers submitted should all be your own work. For example, you may not divide an assignment into parts, give a part to another student or anyone else to solve, and then submit that work as your own. You have to have participated in the creation of every part of your submitted work.

An easy way to make sure this happens is never share files regarding coursework or copy and paste answers into email. Instead, meet together to work on an assignment and then separate to write up your solutions.

Similarity between submitted assignments that has not been appropriately documented will be treated as plagiarism - the same as copying on a midterm or a final- and will be submitted to the Dean for disciplinary action.

Course Notes/Multimedia

Audio and sometimes video from lectures will be available via the lecture pages on the main course website. These same pages will also contain notes.

Do not rely upon the lectures and notes to cover all material related to this class. You are expected to keep up with the assigned textbook readings and material covered in the tutorials.

Required Textbooks

The course will be using the textbook Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces. The chapters of this textbook are available for free online; you can also buy a full epub, PDF, or paper copy if you wish.

Individual chapters will be linked with the lectures associated with them. You should plan on reading the assigned chapters before coming to class, as the material in lectures will be easier to understand then. The lectures are designed to supplement the textbook, not replace them.

Course Software

In this course we will primarily working with Lubuntu, a low-resource variant of Ubuntu Linux distribution. You may use other Linux distributions in the tutorials to complete the assigned work; there will be differences, however, in some aspects (such as installing software), particularly if you use a distribution not based on Ubuntu or Debian.

University Policies

Student Academic Integrity Policy

Every student should be familiar with the Carleton University student academic integrity policy. A student found in violation of academic integrity standards may be awarded penalties which range from a reprimand to receiving a grade of F in the course or even being expelled from the program or University. Some examples of offences are: plagiarism and unauthorized co-operation or collaboration. Information on this policy may be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.


As defined by Senate, "plagiarism is presenting, whether intentional or not, the ideas, expression of ideas or work of others as one's own". Such reported offences will be reviewed by the office of the Dean of Science.

Unauthorized Co-operation or Collaboration

Senate policy states that "to ensure fairness and equity in assessment of term work, students shall not co-operate or collaborate in the completion of an academic assignment, in whole or in part, when the instructor has indicated that the assignment is to be completed on an individual basis".

Please see above for the specific collaboration policy for this course.

Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

The Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities (PMC) provides services to students with Learning Disabilities (LD), psychiatric/mental health disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), chronic medical conditions, and impairments in mobility, hearing, and vision. If you have a disability requiring academic accommodations in this course, please contact PMC at 613-520-6608 or pmc@carleton.ca for a formal evaluation. If you are already registered with the PMC, contact your PMC coordinator to send me your Letter of Accommodation at the beginning of the term, and no later than two weeks before the first in-class scheduled test or exam requiring accommodation (if applicable). After requesting accommodation from PMC, meet with me to ensure accommodation arrangements are made. Please consult the PMC website for the deadline to request accommodations for the formally-scheduled exam (if applicable) at http://www2.carleton.ca/pmc/new-and-current-students/dates-and-deadlines

Religious Obligation

Write to the instructor with any requests for academic accommodation during the first two weeks of class, or as soon as possible after the need for accommodation is known to exist. For more details visit the Equity Services website: http://www2.carleton.ca/equity/

Pregnancy Obligation

Write to the instructor with any requests for academic accommodation during the first two weeks of class, or as soon as possible after the need for accommodation is known to exist. For more details visit the Equity Services website: http://www2.carleton.ca/equity/

Medical Certificate

The following is a link to the official medical certificate accepted by Carleton University for the deferral of final examinations or assignments in undergraduate courses. To access the form, please go to http://www.carleton.ca/registrar/forms