Operating Systems

Next running

Not currently scheduled for a next session. Please email us to express your interest.

Operating systems—along with database management systems and compilers—are some of the most sophisticated programs that software engineers utilize.

Understanding the operation of operating systems is one of the most reliable ways to increase the effectiveness, performance and security of one’s programs. Yet many engineers expect to learn about their operating systems by osmosis, not taking the time to understand this important piece of software in its own right. We feel that this is an unfortunate oversight.

Our course focuses on the four topics that we feel are most empowering for practicing software engineers: CPU virtualization, virtual memory, coordination and persistence. The scope of the course is to provide students with a strong mental model of these concepts to take back to their userland programs.

Projects and exercises

The practical component of this course consists of small tracing exercises to explore the design decisions of some modern operating systems.

Assumed knowledge

This course assumes strong programming abilities, and some familiarity with C. Students are advised to be familiar enough with C to say solve an exercise in K&R C without much outside assistance. We suggest that students without an undergraduate computer science background take our _Computer Architecture_ course before undertaking _Operating Systems_.