COMPSCI 210, Spring 2005
Course Vital StatisticsLecture Time: MW 2:50-4:05
Lecture Location: LSRC D243
TA: Angela Dalton
This Web Page: http://www.cs.duke.edu/courses/spring05/cps210/
Continually under construction!
The textbook is Linux Kernel Development by Robert Love (2003).
Recommended text for basic undergraduate background material is Modern Operating Systems, 2nd edition, by Andrew Tanenbaum.
Lecture notes will usually be made available immediately before class and then revised (if there is any substantial content added in class discussion) and reposted after class.
The E-track, Grading, and Quals. This is a two-track class. Assigned work includes mandatory "G-track" components (the base workload described above) and some optional "E-track" components. The E-track work is necessary if you want to earn a grade of E or E+. The primary component of the E-track work is the term project.
CPS 210 is a "quals course" for CPS Ph.D. students. We assign quals passes based on demonstrated mastery of the quals material, regardless of your grade. In particular, E-track work is not necessary for a quals pass and will not improve your chances of earning a quals pass. The E-track is intended for students with a serious interest in systems or architecture. If you decide to take on E-track work, make sure you also leave yourself enough time to learn the course material and earn your quals pass. Students who passed the qualifying exam prior to taking the course are waived from having to take the two exams.
Grades will be assigned by adding your scores on the G-track work and exams, and assigning base grades curved from G- to E-. Undergraduates are graded on a different scale since this course is more advanced than typical undergraduate classes. Your scores for the E-track work are then added and curved to improve your base grade from 0 to 3 notches (e.g., 3 notches advances you from a base grade of G+ to a final grade of E+). We give S grades only for barely satisfactory work, since graduate students cannot receive credit for more than two S grades.
To summarize: if you do an outstanding job on all the G-track work (which includes exams), you'll get an E- and a quals pass; if you do a good job on the G-track work, you'll get a G or a G+ and the quals pass will depend on your exam scores; if you additionally do good work for the E-track, it is possible to get a grade higher than E-. We reserve E+ grades for truly outstanding students.
You are encouraged to form groups of two (or perhaps three) students to collaborate on projects.
Projects and other E-track work are held to a high standard; incomplete or incorrect work will receive little if any extra credit.
Assignment #1 - The Shell and
This rule says that you have truly assimilated the knowledge gained by working with fellow students if you can leave the session without a written record of the interactions (electronic or otherwise), then engage in a half hour of mind-numbing activity (like watching an episode of Gilligan's Island), before starting to work on your own. This test assures that you are able to reconstruct what you learned from the meeting, by yourself, using your own brain.
On giving credit where credit is due. You must acknowledge the sources of your words and ideas, when they are not your own, and you should list the names of anyone who helped you with your work. Thus, I acknowledge that much of this web page content comes from Professor Jeff Chase who developed the clever E-track system in previous offerings of CPS 210. The Gilligan's Island Rule is an inspiration of Professor Larry Ruzzo from University of Washington. Failing to give appropriate credit is at best a violation of professional etiquette, and at worst it is plagiarism. Plagiarism, like collaboration on exams, is cheating. Cheating is a very serious offense and I do not expect it to occur in this class.