Adjunct Professor:

J Masiyowski


Fairfax Campus: Science and Technology 2 (ST 2), Rm 430   OR Alternatively ST2 Rm 335


Class Hours:

Monday  7:20p-10:00p                          Location: Science and Technology 1 (ST 1),   Room 206[1] 

Office Hours:

Anytime electronically or by appointment


TBD                                                     email: TBD                            Office Hours:  TBD

Location: Rm 435 Science & Technology 2 (ST 2) OR by appointment via email

Course URL:


Note: The course web site contains the most current course information.  Therefore, check the course web page regularly during the semester for important information and announcements.  Alternatively, announcements and assignments will be made in class.


Course Description


From the 2008-2009* Course Catalog - INFS 515: Prerequisites: undergraduate courses or equivalent knowledge in structured programming in a high-level language.  Computer hardware architecture concepts include number systems, machine representation of numbers, instruction set formats; addressing techniques, memory organization, internal processor structure and operation; symbolic assembly language is also covered.   Fundamental operating systems concepts include process synchronization and scheduling, inter-process communication, memory management, virtual memory, deadlocks,  file I/O and disk management.  LINUX Operating System case studies will be examined.  Credit cannot be applied to any graduate degree in IT&E or the B.S. degree in Computer Science.


* revised course description not contained in 2007-2008 course catalog


Note: This course does not require nor expect a background in Computer Science (CS) or Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).


NOTE: Students will provided appropriate documentation to the instructor to ensure that all prerequisites have been met prior to taking this course.




Email is the recommended mode of communications with the instructor. Answers to technical questions may be redistributed to other students via E-mail or the course web site. You are expected to have and use your GMU E-mail address for this course.  Check the course web site regularly for updates and announcements as applicable.  Preface all email message subject lines with  “INFS515: “





Not taken for credit at lecture, but you are responsible for all material presented in class/lab whether or not it is in the published notes.  Therefore, consistent and weekly attendance is strongly recommended in order to achieve the highest course grade.  If you are late for class, please enter the class quietly and sit by the entrance to minimize the disturbance to the rest of the class.  An attendance sign-up sheet will be distributed sometime during the class.  Please sign only your name.



Reading Assignments


Reading assignments are posted on the course web site and/or given in class.  Students are expected to have read the assigned material before the corresponding lecture in which the material will be discussed.  


Students are responsible for all material assigned.  Reference the Homework, Exam and Quiz Format section.




Recording of lectures with any type of electronic or electro-mechanical recording device is not permitted.

Some class sessions will be part lecture and part exercises (second half of session) while others are all lecture based.

Lecture sessions may include current developments (i.e., events) in the area of computer system organization and architecture, and operating systems.

Caution: Not every slide will be covered during a lecture session.


Lecture Slides


The lecture slides are available from the course textbook instructor resource page for OS-06e.    Lecture slides for EOCA-2e are found in the optional supplement.  Note: Instructor slides shown in class contain corrections to those found in the companion.  Caution: Not every slide will be covered during a particular lecture session.


Some lecture material will be from external sources (not contained in the class slides).


Course information posted on the course web site will be in PDF format.  Free PDF file reader (Version 8 or later) can be downloaded from here



Homework Assignments


Homework assignments are posted on the course web site and/or given in class.


The objective of the homework assignments is to keep students knowledgeable of the material covered in class.


Show intermediate work as appropriate when submitting homework assignment answers.


Homework assignments are due BEFORE the start of class session (i.e., lecture) on the due date.   If and only if you are not able to submit your homework assignment in class, you may submit  via email on or before the due date/time to the TA with a courtesy copy (cc:) to the instructor.  The student is responsible for ensuring that email submitted homework is received before the due date/time.  Thus, the student needs to account for possible delivery delays of email systems.  Unless arrangements are worked out in advance, missed assignments cannot be made up.


In recognition of the fact that many students have occasional but unavoidable work and family commitments that preclude attendance at every class, the lowest two homework assignments will be dropped prior to final grade computations.  In view of this policy, late homework is not accepted.  Please don't ask for an exception.


All Homework assignments are graded for correctness.


Homework assignments should be neatly typed.  Readable handwritten assignments are acceptable.


The instructor may discard unclaimed graded assignments after two weeks have elapsed past the original due date.  All unclaimed assignments will be discarded after the final exam.




Class Demonstrations & Exercises


Throughout the semester, live in-classroom demonstrations & exercises of various computer organizations and operating systems may be shown.  There will be questions on the quizzes/exams about these demonstrations & exercises.


Text Books


The following textbooks are required:


Title: The Essentials of Computer Organization and Architecture

Second Edition

Author: Linda Null and Julia Lobur

Publisher:  Jones and Barlett Publishers

ISBN: 0-7637-3769-0

© 2006

Reference Design: TX1

Textbook Resource : Web Page


Title: Operating Systems, Internals and Design Principles

Sixth Edition

Author: William Stallings

Publisher:  Prentice-Hall

ISBN: 0-13-147954-7

© 2009

Reference Design: TX2

Textbook Resource Web Page


The following textbook are optional:


·         Modern Operating Systems”, Third Edition 2008, Andrew S. Tanenbaum, ISBN: 0136006639

·          Computer Organization and Architecture: Designing for Performance, Seventh Edition, William Stallings, Prentice-Hall, ISBN: 0-13-185644-8, © 2006



NOTE: The Internet/ World Wide Web will be utilized to provide additional sources of course reference material.


Be sure to check the textbook web sites on a regular basis for errata sheet updates.



Note: Textbook references (text.chapter.section) are cited for weekly lecture topics while references for problems follow the format of text:chapter.problem number



Honor Code


You are encouraged to collaborate with other students for general studying.


Exams are closed book, closed notes, and no use of calculators unless otherwise noted.  The normal GMU Honor Code applies to all exams, quizzes, and all homework assignments which carry with them an implicit statement that it is the sole work of the author, unless joint work is explicitly authorized.   Help may be obtained from the instructor or other students to understand the description of the problem and any technology, but the solution, must be the student's own work.


The GMU Computer Science department Honor Code for programming assignments applies to programming-based homework assignments and non-textbook homework assignments as applicable. 


Any deviation from these are considered an Honor Code violation, and as a minimum, will result in failure of the submission and as a maximum, failure of the class.





The list of chapters and topics to be covered on a weekly basis are on schedule, which is posted on the course web site and/or given in class. The schedule of topics discussed and assignments is subject to change during the progression of the semester.

Exam Policy


Students who arrive more than fifteen (15) minutes late for any exam or quiz will not be permitted to take the exam/quiz and will automatically receive a grade of zero for that exam/quiz.


Makeup exams are very rarely given. Requests for a delayed Final Exam due to multiple tests (>2) in one day will ONLY be considered if proper forms are completed and in the instructor's hands on or before the mid-term grading period ends.


(excerpts) From the 2008-2009 University Catalog:

A student who misses an exam without an excuse may have the course grade lowered.

Students must not be required to submit examinations before the date of the regularly scheduled examination for a course.  Final reexaminations are not permitted.

Absence from final examinations will not be excused except for sickness on the day of the examination or for other cause approved by the student's academic dean/director.


From the Schedule of Classes:

Students who have more than one examination scheduled at the same time or more than two examinations scheduled on the same day should consult their academic dean to request rescheduling.


There will be only one makeup final exam for those students who have received authorization from the instructor to take the final exam at the other than the normally scheduled time. This makeup exam will be given the day following the regularly scheduled final exam at the same time or as announced by the instructor.


Since the College of Arts and Sciences does not have a specific procedure, those students in CAS who are eligible to take the final exam at the makeup exam time should follow the School of IT&E procedures and fill out the appropriate forms and return them to the instructor on or before mid-term grading period ends. No requests for any reason will be accepted after that date.



Exam & Quiz Formats


Quizzes will be normally given during the first 30 minutes of class.


The time period for exams covers the entire class session.


All exams and quizzes are closed book and notes, unless otherwise specified.  


In recognition of the fact that many students have occasional but unavoidable work and family commitments that preclude attendance at every class, the lowest single quiz grade will be dropped prior to final grade computations.  In view of this policy, there are no make-up quizzes. Please don't ask for an exception.


Exams and quizzes are both essay and problem solving based.  


The goal of the quizzes is to keep students abreast of the material covered in class.


The final exam will be comprehensive with a selected number of questions from the first part of the course.


Quizzes and exams will cover all material discussed through the prior class (including the current reading assignment) and will emphasize material covered during class lectures, reading and homework assignments.





You must clearly indicate any and all instances when your work includes, is based on, or is derived from the work of others.  Just be sure to include explicit in-line citations where applicable.  Any violations are sufficient to receive a failing grade.   Refer to GMU's Honor System and Code.



Grading Policy


Homework = 25% Short Quizzes = 20%                            Mid-Term Exam = 25%        Final Exam = 30%


The final course grade is based on an absolute standard of the weighted sum of all grades (NO grades will be dropped [except where noted] nor a curve applied to the grades).  


In recognition of the fact that many students have occasional but unavoidable commitments that preclude attendance at every class, the lowest single quiz score and the lowest two homework assignments are dropped.  Attendance at all exams are mandatory.


Plus/Minus grades will be used as indicated:

A+: 100-97            A: 96-93                 A-: 92-90                B+: 89-85              B: 84-80                 Cs: 79-60              Fs: <60


Grade information with students is not communicated via email.  Make an appointment with the instructor.



Students with Disabilities


If you need special assistance, please inform the instructor soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.  Contact GMU's Office of Disability Services (Disability Resource Center) for additional information.



Course Web Site


Suggest that students visit the course web site often to check for updates.  Also, make local copies of information from the web site and the WWW in case the web site is unavailable for an extended period of time.


The course web site contains the most current course information.



Computer Labs


There a several Computer Labs available for general use by IT&E students, which are located on the Fairfax campus.  For more information go to the web site at   One such lab is in ST2 Room 137.




Cell Phone & Electronic Device Policy


Turn cell phones and personal communication device ringers in silent mode during class sessions.


Phone calls, text messages, instant messages, email, and general web surfing are not permitted during class time.


Computers may only be used to follow the material in class. Violators will have their devices confiscated or asked to leave the room.





As the semester progresses, notices about changes to the course are posted on the course web page.

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