CS471 – Operating Systems (Spring 2010)


Course Outcomes

- Demonstrate knowledge about the role, purpose and evolution of operating systems as well as their impact on overall computer system performance.

- Demonstrate knowledge about the basic operating system services, including those involving process scheduling, basic memory management, file system management and protection.

- Be able to understand and solve basic process/thread synchronization problems that arise in multi-programmed operating systems, utilizing basic data structures and programming techniques covered in previous courses.

- Demonstrate the basic knowledge about distributed systems and how the ever-increasing networking features have affected (and are affecting) operating system design and be able to identify potential threats to operating systems and the security features designed to guard against them.

- Being able to implement (in a high-level programming language such as C or Java) a simulator for a suite of basic algorithms for the main OS services such as memory management, process scheduling.


Grade of C or better in CS 310 and CS 367


Dr. Heishman  /  Office: Engineering (Rm. 5343)  /  Email: rheishma@gmu.edu  /  Phone: 703-993-1543   Web: cs.gmu.edu/~rheishma  /  Office Hours: T (2-4 PM), W (4:30-6:30 PM), R (1:30-2:30 PM) or by appt.


Operating System Concepts (8th ed.) by Silberschatz, Galvin and Gagne


http://courses.gmu.edu - All assignments must be submitted (per published deadlines) via BlackBoard. Class schedule, materials, assignments, grades and other relevant documents are available here.


Students must use GMU email system for all correspondence with instructor. Email must use the following subject format: CS471-001(Name) (Failure to adhere to this policy will result in returned emails).


500 points total: 5 Homework Assignments (10%), 3 Programming Projects (30%), Midterm Exam (25%), Final Exam (35%). Final course grades will be calculated as follows:


-    A+ (>= 490 pts.), A (>= 460 pts.), A- (>= 450 pts.)             -    D  (>= 300 pts.)

-    B+ (>= 440 pts.), B (>= 410 pts.), B- (>= 400 pts.)             -    F  (< 300 pts.)

-    C+ (>= 390 pts.), C (>= 360 pts.), C- (>= 350 pts.)


Students are expected to attend and actively engage in lecture sessions.

Lecture / Readings

Students are responsible for reading and understanding material referenced in class schedule, which may or may not be explicitly covered in class. Readings must be completed prior to the assigned lecture. Questions and clarifications regarding material should be presented in class, during office hours or via Blackboard discussions.



Assignments must be submitted by the deadline to be considered for full credit. Late projects will be tolerated, but are subject to a penalty of 20% per day (measured in 24-hour increments from time of deadline). No assignments of any type will be accepted for credit after last class meeting or deadline.

Contested Grades

Contesting of grades on any/all submissions must be requested within one week of the item's return. No changes will be considered subsequent to that deadline.


Exams are closed book/notes unless specified otherwise by instructor. Appropriate documentation (as determined by instructor) and requisite permissions are required for make-up exam requests. Picture IDs are required to take all exams.

Honor Code

All students are expected to abide by the GMU Honor Code. This policy is rigorously enforced. All class-related assignments are considered individual efforts unless explicitly expressed otherwise (in writing). Review the university honor code and discuss any questions regarding the policies with instructor.


Students with a learning disability or other condition (documented with GMU Office of Disability Services) that may impact academic performance should speak with instructor ASAP to discuss accommodations.