George Mason University

CS 471 -- Operating Systems
Spring 2012

F 1:30-4:15 pm, Art and Design Building L008

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

Professor Richard Carver
Course office hours: Course office hours: T, R: 10:00 - 10:30am
Engineering Bldg Room 5318

Grade of C or better in CS 310 and 367.

CS471 covers concurrent processes and synchronization mechanisms, processor scheduling, memory management, file management, I/O management, deadlock management, performance of operating systems, and projects dealing with synchronization in a multiprogrammed operating system and with virtual memory management.

COURSE OUTCOMES: At the end of this course, you will

Required Textbook: "Operating System Concepts", by Silberschatz, Galvin and Gagne, 8th edition.

Students will be assigned readings in the textbook for each class. Students are expected to do each reading before coming to class. The readings are intended to give students grounding in the subject that will be further explained in the lecture. Lectures will be an opportunity to ask questions and explore the subjects in depth.

SYLLABUS (tentative):

Week 1: Introduction to OSs and Computer System Structures
Week 1: OS Structures
Week 2: Processes
Weeks 3-4: Threads
Week 5: CPU Scheduling
Weeks 6-7: Process Synchronization
Week 8: Midterm
Week 9: Deadlocks
Weeks 10-11: Distributed Systems
Week 12: Memory Management
Week 13: Virtual Memory
Week 14: Protection and Security
Week 15: File System


Grades are based on two in-class exams (a midterm and a final), homework assignments, and programming projects. Grades will be numerical on the scale 0-100. Your final numerical grade, G, is computed as follows (tentatively):

G = (0.25 * Midterm) + (0.25 * Final_Exam) + (0.50 * Homework and Programming Assignments)

The following table is used to convert the final numerical grade to a letter grade:

G letter grade
[98,100] A+
[92,97] A
[90, 91] A-
[88, 89] B+
[82, 87] B
[80, 81] B-
[78, 79] C+
[70, 77] C
[60, 69] D
[0, 59] F


The late submission policy is as follows: assignments will be marked down 10% for each late day.


The TA for this course is Kevin Leach,, Office Hours: M 12-2pm, F 11am-1pm, and by appointment, in ENGR 4456.

The TA is available to answer technical questions about assignments. When sending a question to the TAs, please prefix the subject with CS471.


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.


CS471 has a home page (


  1. ACM's Special Interest Group in Operating Systems (SIGOPS).
  2. IEEE Computer Society's Distributed Systems Online.


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