George Mason University


CS 471 Operating Systems – Fall 2008

Instructor: Dr. Elizabeth White


Description: This course covers the principles of operating systems theory and practice. Fundamental concepts such as processes, synchronization, scheduling and memory management will be presented. Another emphasis will be on the principles of distributed operating systems.

Prerequisites: CS 310 and CS 367, or equivalent. A solid background in These pre-requisites imply a solid background, both in programming and in computer architecture. In order to be able to work on the programming projects, the students must be very comfortable with C/C++ or Java programming languages.

Meeting Times and Locations:


Required Textbook: "Operating System Concepts", by Silberschatz, Galvin and Gagne (7th Edition, John Wiley & Sons 2005, ISBN 0-471-69466-5).

Other good references: "Modern Operating Systems" (2nd edition, Prentice Hall 2001, ISBN: 0-13-031358-0), by A. S. Tanenbaum
Distributed Systems: Concept and Design" (4th Edition, Addison-Wesley 2005, ISBN 0321263545), by Coulouris, Dollimore and Kindberg.

Office Hours: TBD (Office: ST II, Room 429)


Teaching Assistant (TA):

TA Office Hours:

Course Web Page:

Course Outcomes: At the end of this course, you will





No early exams will be given and make-up exams are strongly discouraged.
GMU Honor Code will be enforced. The students are supposed to work individually on the assignments/projects. Collaboration will be allowed only for the group projects, within each group. We reserve the right to use MOSS to detect plagiarism. Violations of GMU Honor Code or a total score of 49 (or less) will result in an F.

Computer Accounts: All students should have accounts on the central Mason Unix system (also known as and  on IT&E Unix cluster (Instructions and related links are here). Students can  work in  IT&E computer labs  for programming projects during the specified hours.

Students with Disabilities: If you have a documented learning disability or other condition that may affect academic performance you should: 1) make sure this documentation is on file with the Office of Disability Services (SUB I, Rm. 222; 993-2474; to determine the accommodations you need; and 2) talk with me to discuss your accommodation needs.