CS 350 - Operating Systems

Course Outline

Web Page for Current Term : University of Waterloo : Faculty of Mathematics : School of Computer Science


Section Campus Time / Days Bldg Room Instructor
LEC 001 UW U 08:30-09:50 TTh DWE 2527 Ken Salem
LEC 002 UW U 11:30-12:50 TTh DWE 2527 Bernard Wong
LEC 003 UW U 10:00-11:20 TTh DWE 2527 Bernard Wong

Online Discussion Forum (Piazza)

Course Personnel and Office Hours

Name E-mail Office Hours
Ken Salem (Instructor) kmsalem@uwaterloo.ca
(Include CS350 in subject line)
Please use Piazza for general questions and comments.
4:00-5:30 pm
DC 3512
Bernard Wong (Instructor) bernard@uwaterloo.ca
(Include CS350 in subject line)
Please use Piazza for general questions and comments.
Monday and Wednesday
2:30-3:30 pm
DC 3514
Ben Cassell (Instructional Apprentice) Please use Piazza for questions and comments. Friday
2:30-3:30 pm
MC 3022
Tyler Szepesi (Instructional Apprentice) Please use Piazza for questions and comments. Thursday
2:30-3:30 pm
MC 3022

Grading Scheme

First, component marks will be determined as follows:

Component Description
A0, A1, A2a, A2b, A3 Your grades on the assignments, expressed as percentages.
M Your midterm exam grade, expressed as a percentage.
F Your final exam grade, expressed as a percentage.

Then, we will apply the following algorithm to determine your final course grade:

Normal  = (0.02*A0 + 0.08*A1 + 0.07*A2a + 0.08*A2b + 0.10*A3) + 0.20*M + 0.45*F 
Exam    = (0.20*M + 0.45*F ) / 0.65

if ( Exam < 50% ) {
	Course Grade = min (Normal, Exam)
} else {
	Course Grade = Normal

Note in particular that you must pass the weighted average of the midterm and the final exam in order to pass the course.

Instructional Support Coordinator

Name Office Location Contact
Victoria Sakhnini MC 4011 vsakhnini@uwaterloo.ca, x38764

Course Description

An introduction to the fundamentals of operating system function, design, and implementation. Topics include concurrency, synchronization, processes, threads, scheduling, memory management, file systems, device management, and security.

Course Objectives

Provides an introduction to operating systems: what they do, how they are used, and how they are implemented.

Course Overview

Recommended text

Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces by R. Arpaci-Dusseau and A. Arpaci-Dusseau.

This is an on-line textbook, available as a free download in PDF format, or for purchase in hard copy. Links to the textbook are available from the reading materials page.

Required Course Notes:

You are required to either buy or print the course notes and to bring them with you to class and to take notes during class. The course notes are not intended to be stand alone. Class attendance is required.


All the assignments should be submitted electronically. Submission instructions are found in the assignment specifications.

Marked assignments can be picked up during the IA's office hours, during the first two weeks after they have been marked. After two weeks they can be picked up from the instructor's office until the end of the term. Unclaimed assignments will be shredded at the end of the term.

Assignment marking reappraisal requests:
If there is a problem with the marking your assignment, you may request that your assignment be reappraised. To do this:

For each assignment there will be a deadline for reappraisal requests.

Slip Days Policies

Each assignment has a due date and a due time, which will be posted on the course web page. For some assignments we will use a system of "slip days" to give you some flexibility with the assignment deadlines. Each person starts the term with five slip days, which can be used to push back assignment deadlines. Slip days work as follows:

Assignments that are submitted late (with no slip days to cover them) will not be accepted and will receive a mark of 0%.

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity: In order to maintain a culture of academic integrity, members of the University of Waterloo community are expected to promote honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. All members of the UW community are expected to hold to the highest standard of academic integrity in their studies, teaching, and research. The Office of Academic Integrity's website contains detailed information on UW policy for students and faculty. This site explains why academic integrity is important and how students can avoid academic misconduct. It also identifies resources available on campus for students and faculty to help achieve academic integrity in - and out - of the classroom.

Grievance: A student who believes that a decision affecting some aspect of his or her university life has been unfair or unreasonable may have grounds for initiating a grievance, as outlined by Policy 70 - Student Petitions and Grievances. When in doubt please be certain to contact the department's administrative assistant who will provide further assistance.

Discipline: A student is expected to know what constitutes academic integrity, to avoid committing an academic offence, and to take responsibility for his or her actions. A student who is unsure whether an action constitutes an offence, or who needs help in learning how to avoid offences (e.g., plagiarism, cheating) or about 'rules' for group work/collaboration should seek guidance from the course instructor, academic advisor, or the undergraduate Associate Dean. For information on categories of offences and types of penalties, students should refer to Policy 71 - Student Discipline Students may also view the University's Guidelines for the Assessment of Penalties.

Avoiding Academic Offenses: Most students are unaware of the line between acceptable and unacceptable academic behaviour, especially when discussing assignments with classmates and using the work of other students. For information on commonly misunderstood academic offenses and how to avoid them, students should refer to the Faculty of Mathematics Cheating and Student Academic Discipline Guidelines.

Appeals: A decision made or penalty imposed under Policy 70 - Student Petitions and Grievances (other than a petition) or Policy 71 - Student Discipline may be appealed if there is grounds to do so. A student who believes he or she has a ground for an appeal should refer to Policy 72 - Student Appeals.

Note for Students with Disabilities: AccessAbility Services, located in Needles Hall, Room 1132, collaborates with all academic departments to arrange appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities without compromising the academic integrity of the curriculum. If you require academic accommodations to lessen the impact of your disability, please register with them at the beginning of each academic term.