15-712: Advanced Operating Systems & Distributed Systems


November 29, 2001: The schedule for the rest of the term is really set.

November 9, 2001: The schedule for the rest of the term is set. Note that group presentations and status reports are going to be over the course of two days. Groups 1-6 will go the first day and groups 7-11 on the second day.

November 4, 2001: Reminder - no class this week. You should be working on your project design documents. We will have class on Friday, Nov. 16, and Friday, Nov. 30 to make up for these days. (The readings page has been updated to reflect the changes.)

October 21, 2001: Reminder - no class this week. Get your projects started since the related work is due in a couple of weeks.

October 10, 2001: Old summaries. If you missed picking up a summary/homework you submitted, it is in the class filing cabinet (d-level Hamerschlag across from the main elevator).

October 10, 2001: Old summaries. If you missed picking up a summary/homework you submitted, it is in the class filing cabinet (d-level Hamerschlag across from the main elevator).

October 10, 2001: For the paper next day, "An Evaluation of the Ninth SOSP Submissions", write around a page about how a systems paper should be written (i.e., what sections should it have? how should it be structured? what separates the great papers we have read this term from the ok/good papers we have read this term.

October 9, 2001: If you have not yet found a group to work on the group project with, post a message to the class newsgroup: cmu.cs.class.cs712 indicating your status, so that you can find a group.

October 4, 2001: A list of potential projects has been posted. Click on "Project Ideas" to see the list.

October 3, 2001: Only write a summary for the paper "Why Crypto Systems Fail" by Anderson for Monday's class. The other two papers, although very interesting are not 'systems papers' per se.

October 1, 2001: A new solution to homework assignment one has been posted. The solution to Question 8, part a, section 3 was incorrect... Credit goes to Mahim Mishra for identifying that the solution was incorrect (and for providing the correct answer).

September 21, 2001: Solutions to the first homework assignment have been posted. Summaries of the first four papers have been posted.

September 10, 2001: Source for the first homework assignment (the TeX file used to generate the homework assignment) has been posted on the homework page. This can be used for typing in your answers. All answers must be type written. You do not have to use LaTeX to produce the typed solutions though...

September 7, 2001: The first meeting of 15-712 is on Wednesday, September 12, to accomodate the SCS Integration Course. Students are encouraged to review undergraduate OS and networks material before the start of class since we delve into material quickly. To guide this review, the first homework has been posted on the homework page. Feel free to print out the homework and get an early start. The readings for the course have been selected and posted on the readings page. Readings will be handed out the week before we discuss them in class, so don't feel compelled to print out all of the papers ahead of time. As well, you aren't expected to have read anything in particular ahead of time (a couple of people have asked about this...).


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. Lectures focus on the principles used in the design of operating systems and distributed systems, and algorithms and data structures used in their implementation. There is a secondary focus on secure systems in this course. Readings include case studies, seminal papers, and recent conference and journal articles.

General Information

Meeting Time/Place: MW 1:30-2:50, Wean Hall 4615A

Greg Ganger   HH/D207   268-1297   ganger@ece.cmu.edu

Teaching Assistant
Jay Wylie   HH/D-level cube B3   268-4261   jwylie@cmu.edu

Course secretary
Melissa Puryear   HH/D204   268-7293   mpuryear@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


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:


These conferences are major conferences in the area of computer systems research:


Final Note

* Everything here is subject to change.

Last modified: Thu Nov 29 15:42:14 Eastern Standard Time 2001