George Mason University

CS 475 -- Concurrent & Distributed Systems
Spring 2010

MW 10:30 - 11:45 am, Room L008 (Arts Building)

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

Professor Sanjeev Setia
setia at
Course office hours: MW 12 - 1 pm
Room 5305,  Nguyen (Engineering) Building

CS 367 (Computer Systems & Programming)

NOTE:  The course pre-requisite will be strictly enforced.

This is a programming intensive course. You need to be comfortable with programming in C/C++ or Java to be able to do the programming assignments. It is also not a good idea to take this class if your course/work schedule is already quite full.

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

Unfortunately there is no single textbook that covers all the material that will be discussed in this class. The following three books are recommended (not required):

Class notes will also be provided as necessary. Recommendations for additional books on specific topics (Network programming, Web services, Distributed Systems) will be provided by the instructor on the class web page.


The following topics will be covered:

  1. Multi-threaded/Concurrent Programming
  2. Distributed Systems
  3. Client-Server Applications
  4. Middleware technologies
    1. TCP/IP Sockets
    2. RPC/RMI
    3. Web Services (SOAP, XML)
  5. Advanced topics (time permitting) - Peer to Peer Computing, Parallel Programming


There will be four programming assignments (two dealing with concurrent programming and two with distributed/networked applications). The software required for these projects is available on the computers in the IT&E Lab. You can also do the projects on your own computer. (The programming assignments involve programming in C/C++ or Java on a UNIX/Linux platform.)  You can do the assignments individually or in a group of two students.

65% of the course grade will be based on the programming assignments. In addition, there will be a mid-term exam in March worth 15% of the grade. The final exam will account for the remaining 20% of the grade.


The late submission policy is as follows: projects will be marked down 15% for each late day after the due date, for a maximum of two late days. You will also have the opportunity for re-submitting the first three projects for improving your grade.


Violations of the honor code will result in a failing grade. Click here for the CS Department's links to materials on the honor code, ethics and integrity.


Class notes, slides, handouts, etc. will be available at the class home page

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