George Mason University

CS 475 -- Concurrent & Distributed Software Systems
Spring 2009

T,R 1:30 - 2:45 pm, Innovation Hall 206

Prerequisites | Description | Readings | Topics | Grading | Lateness | Home Page

Professor Richard Carver
Course office hours: (before class) T, R 1:00 - 1:30pm
Sci & Tech II Room 343

CS 471 (Operating Systems)

The class focusses on issues that arise in the design and implementation of concurrent and distributed applications. Course work will involve several programming assignments.

Course Outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate an ability to design and implement a concurrent/distributed program.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental algorithms for mutual exclusion in shared memory and distributed systems.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to synchronize concurrent processes and threads by using semaphores, monitors, and message passing.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the problems inherent in testing and debugging concurrent programs.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to check the correctness of concurrent programs by using testing and debugging tools.

Modern Multithreading by R. Carver and K.C. Tai, Wiley Interscience, 2006.


The following topics will be covered:

  1. Threads, Seamphores, Monitors
  2. Message Passing
  3. Distributed Systems
  4. Client-Server Applications
  5. Middleware technologies
    1. TCP/IP Sockets
    2. RPC/RMI
    3. Web Services (SOAP, XML), J2EE


There will be several homeworks and programming assignments. In addition, there will be a project. The software required for these projects is available on the computers in the IT&E Lab and on osf1. You can also do some of the projects on your own computer. (The programming assignments involve programming in Java on a Windows/UNIX/Linux platform.) The homeworks, assignments, and class project may be done in groups of 2 or 3. Each member of a group is expected to contribute equally in order to get the same grade.

Tentatively: 55% of the course grade will be based on the programming assignments. In addition, there will be a mid-term exam worth 25% of the grade. The project will account for the remaining 20% of the grade.


The late submission policy is as follows: submissions will be marked down 10% per day.


You are expected to abide by the University's honor code during the semester. Any violation of the honor code will result in an F for the class.


CS475 has a home page (

Back to the top.