CMPSCI 691D Home Page

Seminar: Hot Topics in Operating Systems

Instructor: Prashant Shenoy
Class meeting times: TuTh 2:30-3:45
Room: CmpSci 150
Schedule #: 47245

Office Hours: Thursday 1:30 - 2:30, CS336, or by appointment.

Table of Contents


Course Description

This seminar course will cover recent developments in operating and distributed systems. Topics of interest include: Virtualization, Autonomic & Adaptive Systems, System Monitoring and Large Clustered Systems

A collection of papers describing the state-of-the art in the field will be made available to students. Students will be required to present papers, participate in class discussions and complete a project on a relevant topic of interest. This course assumes familiarity with basic concepts in operating and distributed systems systems and computer networks. However, students without the relevant background may attend; additional material will be provided for off-line reading to fill in the gaps.


Familiarity with basic concepts in operating and distributed systems and networking.


There is no textbook for this course. A collection of recent research articles will be made available. Most papers will be available on line from the class home page.

Course Requirements

In addition to presenting papers in class, students will be expected to understand and critique papers as well as participate in class discussions. Additionally, students will be expected to carry out a semester-long project.

Grades will be determined by a project, class presentations and class participation.

Class Participation

The success of this class depends on a high degree of participation in class discussions. To facilitate active participation, students are expected to read and critique papers in advance of the class discussion. At the beginning of each class, students must turn in a short review of the papers to be discussed. The review should: (i) summarize the main point of the paper, (ii) list important conclusions of the paper, and (iii) list any deficiencies that you found. Each review should be short and crisp (preferably less than 1/3 of a page). You may skip handing in up to 20% of the reviews with no penalty. Late reviews will not be accepted.

Class Presentations

Each student will be expected to present and lead the class discussion in one of the assigned papers. Here are some guidelines for class presentations.


The goal of the project is to do some research that advances the state of the art in the field. Projects should be done in teams of two or three. A list of suggested project and project guidelines will be posted soon.

A special laboratory equipped with Linux PCs has been set up for this course. Projects involving OS kernel modifications will be given priority access to these machines.

Reading List

This page is online at
Prashant Shenoy
Last modified: Fri Sep 21 11:27:32 EDT 2007