The goal of the course is to convey the fundamental concepts that enable programs to execute on real hardware. Those concepts include how the operating system virtualizes the hardware to provide basic services and abstractions to enable a user program to effectively use the available hardware resources. The course also addresses how different programming constructs and idioms work.
The basic abstraction of a program running as one or more threads of control in a single flat address space (a Unix process) is the key to the course. Emphasizing that abstraction as the underlying model for understanding how a program works, from both the user program and hardware perspective (with the OS in between), runs as a theme through all topics in the course. Examples include C pointers (to data and functions), function calls and runtime stack management, dynamic memory management in the heap, and the fork/exec system calls.
Prerequisite → C- or better in CMSC132 and
Credits → 4
|C Programming, 2nd edition||K.N. King||9780393979503||Required|
Systems: A Programmer's Perspective, 3rd edition
||R.E. Bryant and D. R. O'Hallaron||9780134092669||Recommended|
Please bring your laptop to lectures. If you don't have a laptop, you may pair up with a classmate.
Office hours will be held in the open space next to IRB 2136. Here is the link to office hour locations for CMSC courses.
Office hours get extremely busy the day before a project deadline. Therefore do not wait to start your projects. Regarding office hours and the TA Room:
We will be using (Piazza) for class communication. You will not be able to register to Piazza yourself. Your instructor will register you using the e-mail you have in the school system.
Your grades will be computed according the following weights:
|Projects / Exercises||30%|
|Quizzes, Lab Work, In-Lecture Exercises||10%|
|Exam 1 (Date: March 3, Tuesday)||13%|
|Exam 2 (Date/Time: See Announcements in ELMS and Piazza)||17%|
|Exam 3 (Final) (Date/Time: See Announcements in ELMS and Piazza)||30%|
Note that academic dishonesty includes not only cheating,
fabrication, and plagiarism, but also includes helping other
students commit acts of academic dishonesty by allowing them to
obtain copies of your work. In short, all submitted work must be
your own. Cases of academic dishonesty will be pursued to the
fullest extent possible as stipulated by the Office of
It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. If the student is found to be responsible of academic dishonesty, the typical sanction results in a special grade "XF", indicating that the course was failed due to academic dishonesty. If you have any doubt as to whether an act of yours might constitute academic dishonesty, please contact your TA or the course coordinator.
The CS Department takes academic integrity seriously. Information on how the CS Department views and handle academic integrity matters can be found at Academic Integrity.
On any graded project or lab, you are NOT allowed to collaborate or exchange code. We compare each student's code with every other student's code to check for similarities. Every semester, we catch an embarrassingly high number of students that engage in cheating and we have to take them to the Honor Council.
We encourage students to talk about course material and help each other out in group chats. However, this does NOT include graded assignments. Talking about release tests is NOT okay.
There have been a couple instances in the past where students have posted pictures/source files of their code, or earlier sections have given away exam questions to later sections. Not only did this lower the curve for the earlier section because the later one will do better, the WHOLE group chat had to pay a visit to the Honor Council. It was an extremely ugly business.
Creating collaborative study guides on Google docs is OK. Encouraged, even. Just do this before the exam, and don't bring the study guide to the exam. Don't add exam questions to the study guide after the early section's midterm.
Totally cool. Highly encouraged to co-create and share (with same caveats as study guides).
The following are a few examples of academic integrity violations:
Additional information can be found in the sections titled "Academic Integrity" and "Code of Student Conduct" available at Course Related Policies.
In case academic accommodations are needed, you must provide a letter of accommodation from the Office of Accessibility and Disability Services (ADS) within the first TWO weeks of the semester. For details, see the section titled "Accessibility" available at Course Related Policies.
See the section titled "Attendance, Absences, or Missed Assignments" available at Course Related Policies.
The department and faculty take student feedback seriously. At the end of the course visit https://www.courseevalum.umd.edu/ to complete your course evaluations.
All course materials are copyright UMCP, Department of Computer Science © 2020. All rights reserved. Students are permitted to use course materials for their own personal use only. Course materials may not be distributed publicly or provided to others (excepting other students in the course), in any way or format.
Although every effort has been made to be complete and accurate, unforeseen circumstances arising during the semester could require the adjustment of any material given here. Consequently, given due notice to students, the instructor reserves the right to change any information on this syllabus or in other course materials.