CS475 Concurrent and Distributed Systems

Location: Innovation Hall 132
Meeting Time: Monday, Weds. 3:00 to 4:15 pm
Instructor: Dr. Robert Simon
Office: 5322 Engineering Building
Phone: 703-993-1556
E-mail: simon AT gmu dot edu
Office Hours: Weds. 4:30 to 5:30, or by appointment
Contacting Please post on Piazza for all course-related inquiries.


Practical issues in designing and implementing distributed software. Topics include concurrent programming, synchronization, multithreading, local and wide-area network protocols, distributed computation, system integration, and techniques for expressing coarse-grained parallelism at the application level. Projects involve distributed system programming at the application level.


(Undergraduate level CS 310 Minimum Grade of C) and (Undergraduate level CS 367 Minimum Grade of C)


Unfortunately there is no single textbook that covers all the material that will be discussed in this class. The good news is that the three books list below FREE. It is STRONGLY recommended that you read the related chapters when we study the topics in class.


The following topics will be covered:

  1. Multi-threaded/Concurrent Programming
  2. Distributed Systems
  3. Client-Server Applications
  4. Middleware technologies
    1. Networking Fundamentals
    2. RPC/RMI
    3. Web Services
  5. Peer to Peer Computing


All class materials, including lecture notes and programming assignments, are available through your Blackboard accounts.


There will be several programming projects. The assignments will involve designing and implementing concurrent, replicated and a fault tolerant data storage and retrieval system. You need to be comfortable with programming in Java to complete these assignments. Details concerning the project will be presented in class throughout the semester.

Please NOTE


Your grade will be calcuated as follows:


Class attendance is not absolutely required but is highly recommended and counts for a minimum of 5% of your grade

No early exams will be given. If you must miss an exam an makeup will be arranged at the discretion of the instructor, provided you have a written and verified excuse.

During the lectures, please make sure you avoid behavior that distracts others, including chatting, sleeping, or routinely arriving to class late. The use of any electronic device during class (including laptops, tablets, cell phones, smartphones, etc.) is not allowed. Violation of any of these policies will automatically result in points deducted from your final grade.



If you have a learning or physical difference that may affect your academic work, you will need to furnish appropriate documentation to GMU Disability Resource Center. If you qualify for accommodation, the DRC staff will give you a form detailing appropriate accommodations for your instructor. If you have such a condition, you must talk to the instructor during the first week of the term about the issue.

Disability Resource Center


The GMU Honor Code will be strictly enforced. Please make sure that you are familiar with it. We will discuss this further in class. Below is the link to the code.

Honor Code