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CS 322
Operating Systems

Course Structure

There will be individual homework assignments, group programming assignments, a midterm exam and a final project.

Class meetings will be a mix of lectures, class discussions, and small group work.

At the end of each class, I will ask you to submit a question related to the course. I use these questions to help me gauge what students are finding confusing so I can spend more time on those issues, or to learn what students would like to learn more about. They also serve as an attendance mechanism.

In addition to normal classes, we will have a 4th hour. This hour will generally be used to gain hands-on experience and address questions that have been submitted at the end of classes. Attending fourth hour meetings is required.


You are expected to be a competent programmer. You will be programming in C in Operating Systems. While I do not expect you to be familiar with C at the start of the semester, we will be moving quickly and you will need to pick up C largely on your own. You should have enough programming experience that learning a new language should not be a major problem.

You should be familiar with the basics of computer architecture. These prerequisites are satisfied by Computer Science 211 and 221.


Your final grade is computed as follows:

Late Policy

You are entitled to a cumulative total of 5 late days over the course of the semester, without questions asked. These may be spread out over multiple assignments, for example, turning each of 5 assignments in 1 day late, or 1 assignment 5 days late. Each day of a weekend counts as a day. After these late days have expired, you will lose 10% of the assignment's value for each day that it is late, except for cases of extreme emergency. Use the late days wisely!!


Class and fourth hour attendance are required. One or two absences for health reasons is completely understandable. Please inform me of extended absence for health or other emergencies so we can plan together how you will make up the work.

Additional rules regarding attendance:

Read your email

Announcements related to issues that arise between class meetings will be made electronically. In particular, clarifications of assignments, changes to due dates, etc. may be reported to you via electronic mail. It is your responsibility to login and check your mail regularly.


In addition to electronic mail, copies of handouts and homework assignments will be available on the course web site and/or Moodle site. The home page for this course is http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~blerner/cs322/.

Getting help

The best way to get help is to come to my office hours as we can engage in a conversation to help you make progress. If you are unable to make it to office hours, I may be available at other times by appointment. Please ask.

Piazza is a good place to ask questions electronically. If you have a question, it is likely other students have a similar question, or may have figured out an answer to your question that they can share. When asking and answering questions on Piazza, be aware of the honor code. Your questions and answers can help someone with a clarification but should not be revealing solutions.

Email can be used to answer more specific questions of clarification. If you ask a question by 5 PM, you should expect a response the same day in most cases. If you send mail in the evening or on a weekend, you might not hear from me until the next school day. Plan ahead.

If you have a question about a program you are writing, whether we are meeting in person or you are sending me an email, it is important to be specific about the problem you are encountering. In particular, you should be clear about:

Inclusive Classroom

Mount Holyoke College and this course embrace a notion of intellectual community that fundamentally depends on diversity along a number of dimensions, including race, ethnicity and national origins, gender and gender identity, sexuality, class, and religion. Your suggestions for creating an intellectually vibrant and inclusive community are encouraged and appreciated.

Your success in this class is important to me. If there are aspects of this course that prevent you from learning or exclude you, please let me know as soon as possible. If you are uncomfortable talking to me directly, feel free to send me a private, anonymous message on Piazza. Together we’ll develop strategies to meet both your needs and the requirements of the course.

I will gladly honor your request to address you by a new name or gender pronoun at any time.

Academic Accommodations

AccessAbility Services is the office on campus that determines academic accommodations for students with disabilities. If you need official accommodations through AccessAbility Services, you have a right to have these met and kept confidential. Please contact AccessAbility Services, located in Mary Lyon Hall 3rd Floor, at 413-538-2634 or accessability-services@mtholyoke.edu. If you are eligible for academic accommodations, you will be provided with an accommodation letter. Once you receive your accommodation letter, I would like to meet with you and discuss these approved accommodations and our class. For more information on who might be eligible for accommodations and the application process please see the AccessAbility Services website.