CSC 213:  Operation Systems and Parallel Algorithms

Instructor Textbook Assignments Schedule (.dvi / postcript / pdf format)
Labs Course Work Deadlines Collaboration Disabilities Grading Topic Review

This course provides a solid introduction to operating systems, together with an extended discussion of some fundamental parallel algorithms. More specifically, the course includes the following topics:


Henry M. Walker

Office: Science 2420
Telephone: extension 4208
Office hours are posted weekly on the bulletin board outside my office.
Additional hours can be scheduled by appointment.
If you wish, you may reserve a half hour meeting by signing up on the weekly schedule.


Gary Nutt Operating Systems, Third Edition, Addison-Wesley, 2000, ISBN: 0-201-77344-9.

In addition, a reference book on the C programming language may be of interest. While many such books exist, students might want to consider the following standard reference:

Samuel P. Harbison and Guy L. Steele, C: A Reference Manual, Fifth Edition, Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-089592-X, 2002.

The schedule

While the schedule for this course is expected to evolve, a Tentative Class Schedule is available on-line in .dvi , postscript , and pdf formats.

Also, if you are logged into the departmental network and want a copy printed, click duerer to have a copy printed on the printer duerer, and click pacioli to have a copy printed on the printer pacioli.

Course Work

This course will involve laboratories, written assignments, programs, and tests.

  1. Laboratories: Formal laboratories are scheduled each Tuesday. Each laboratory will contain a variety of questions and problems; written responses are due the Friday following a lab. While not required, collaboration within a group is strongly encouraged for laboratory work.

  2. Written Assignments and Programs: Exercises will be assigned regularly throughout the course, and normally all work covering the material for a week is due on the following Monday. (Work for the last week, however, is due on Friday, December 10.) There will be a penalty for turning papers or programs in late. Papers over two weeks late and any work after Friday, December 10, will not be accepted.

  3. Programs: Several programming problems will be assigned throughout the semester.

  4. Hour Tests: Following the Tentative Class Schedule (.dvi format / postscript / .pdf format ) hour tests are scheduled for Friday, September 24 and for Monday, November 15.

  5. Exam: The instructor will discuss with students in the course whether the final exam will be in oral or written form. An oral final exam be scheduled during exam week. The exam itself will be designed for 20-30 minutes, but students will sign up for 45 minute appointments, in order to reduce time pressures.

Late Penalty: Work is due at the start of class on the date specified in the assignment. A penalty of 33 1/3 % per class meeting will be assessed on any work turned in late, even work submitted at the end of a class. Thus, work turned in 4 days late will be weighted -33 1/3 %; since a negative score reduces a semester total, it is better not to turn the work in at all.
Exception: Deadlines for programming problems and laboratory exercises are automatically extended at least one class day if MathLAN is down for an unscheduled period of 3 or more hours during the week preceding the assignment due date. (In such cases, however, deadlines for written assignments are not extended.)

Absolute Deadline: All homework must be turned in by Friday, December 10 at 5:00 pm.


The work in this course is split between individual and group work. Thus, as a general rule, students are encouraged to work together on laboratory exercises. However, since this course seeks to develop individual understanding and mastery as well, collaboration normally is not allowed on written assignments, programs, or tests. To avoid possible confusion, the rules for each assignment are clearly indicated on the course's assignment sheet.

Computer Accounts

If you have specific physical, psychiatric, or learning disabilities and require accommodations, please let me know early in the semester so that your learning needs may be appropriately met.  You will need to provide documentation of your disability to the Director of Academic Advising. Feel free to talk to me if you have questions or want more information.


This instructor's grading philosophy dictates that the final grade should ultimately be based upon each student's demonstration of his or her understanding of the material, not on the performance of the class as a whole nor on a strict percentile basis.The following scheme is proposed as a base for how the various laboratories, assignments, programs, oral presentations, and tests will be counted in the final grade.

Laboratory Exercises and Programs: 60%    Hour Tests: 20%    Exam: 20%

This document is available on the World Wide Web as

created July 20, 1998
last revised December 8, 2004
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