15-712: Advanced Operating Systems & Distributed Systems, Fall 2002


This course examines the design and analysis of selected aspects of operating systems and distributed systems. It covers topics such as concurrency and distributed communication; fault-tolerance, availability, and persistence; and operating system structure. Lecture focus on the principles used in the design of operating systems and distributed systems, and algorithms and data structures used in their implementation. Readings include case studies, seminal papers, and recent conference and journal articles.


December 13, 2002: The solutions to the second exam are now available. The maximum number of points was 60, the average was 52, the standard dev. 9.0, and the median 56.

November 12, 2002: Check out the assignment for project presentations. Please, have one person from your group give the presentation on the given day.

November 11, 2002: Based on your responses, we moved the second exam to Wednesday, December 4th, and cancelled the poster session.

November 1, 2002: The solutions to the midterm have been posted to the handouts page.

October 23, 2002: There are no classes scheduled for October 28 and 30. Take advantage of that and work on your design document. The 5 page report should be handed in at the begining of the class on Friday, November 1. The date on the projects page has been changed to match with that on the course schedule.

October 17, 2002: In preparation for your first exam, which is on Monday, October 21, check out some sample questions and midterms from previous years.

October 16, 2002: The literature surveys for your semester project are due this Friday at 5pm. Please drop them off in front of Prof. Greg Ganger's office (HH D-207).

October 2, 2002: The project proposals are due this Friday at 5pm. Please drop them off in front of Prof. Greg Ganger's office (HH D-207).

September 23, 2002: The course schedule is now available. Also, check out the project ideas page. It lists some suggestions for your the term project.

September 22, 2002: The readings for the next few lectures are posted.

August 25, 2002: Note that the first class meets on September 11 and not on August 26, the first day of the fall semester. This is because 15-712 follows the SCS schedule.

General Information

Meeting Time/Place: MWF 3:00-4:20, Wean Hall 4615A

Greg Ganger   HH/D207   x8-1297   ganger@ece.cmu.edu

Teaching Assistant
Jiri Schindler   HH/D-level cube D1   x8-4266   jiri@cmu.edu

Course secretary
Linda Whipkey   HH/D201   x8-3360   ljwhipkey@ece.cmu.edu


Members of this class are expected to have taken an operating systems course equivalent to CMU's 15-412 and achieved a grade of A or better. This includes familiarity as a user with an interactive operating system (e.g., Unix) and solid understanding of basic concepts in the design and implementation of operating systems. Students without this prerequisite knowledge are likely to struggle.

712 is a graduate-level class, and thus operates differently from an undergraduate class; particularly interested and prepared undergraduates can participate, with explicit permission of the instructor.


Topics planned

See the full topic and reading list for details.


Projects should be done in teams of 2 or 3 students. You are encouraged to propose your own project, though suggestions will be provided by the staff to help you with this. Projects plans must be explicitly okay'd by the course staff.

More information about the project is available here.

Books and Readings

There is no assigned textbook. However, there will be a variety of readings that will be handed out in class. Also, a number of books will be on reserve in the library for background reading and deeper study:


Final Note

* Everything here is subject to change.

Last modified: Mon Dec 16 17:54:13 EST 2002