Advanced Operatings Systems Course Frequently Asked Questions
This page is for students with questions who either want to take or
want to avoid taking Computer Science 555. For specific course
information on the current semester, please follow the link from the
Computer Science Department
web page. For information on the course during the Fall semester you
may also visit the course web
How can I obtain D-Clearance to take the course?
All students planning to take Computer Science 555 are required to
obtain D clearance prior to enrollment. Additionally, the department
offers placement exams several times a year and you must have passed
the appropriate placement exams or passed the appropriate
pre-requistie courses before you will be granted D clearance.
Students passing the placement exams will be
admitted to the course according to a priority policy set by the
Computer Science Department.
If the class is presently listed as full or you are otherwise unable
to obtain D clearance, please ask the department to add you to the
waiting list for the class, and show up for class on the first day.
Do not ask the instructor to sign your form for admission. I leave it
to the department to decide who is admitted to the class based on
their priorities, and I will not make decisions on an individual basis
of who gets in and who does not.
It is not possible for me to be present on the day of the
mid-term or final, can arrangements be made to make up the exam?
No, it is not possible for us to make arrangements for a make up exam.
We can not administer the same exam earlier or later than we do to the
rest of the class since that would compromise exam security. Further,
since it takes significant effort to write a good exam (typically 10
hours to develop each question), and since it is practically impossible
to fairly grade two different exams, we are unwilling to make that
effort to accommodate the needs of a small number of students.
The dates of the exams are listed in the syllabus and are known before
the start of the semester. Additionally, the final exam is held
during the last lecture period in the semester or during the first
couple of days of finals week - so we're not making you stay around
into the semester break. If you can not be present on the date of the
mid-term or final exam, you should plan to take a different course
this semester, one with different exam dates.
Will you be teaching CSci555 this semester?
I no longer teach the graduate operating systems course (CSci555).
Instead, I now teach the Computer Security Systems class (CSci530).
I took Advanced Operating Systems at another school. Can I
To count toward your degree at USC, the Advanced Operating Systems
course that you took must be effectively equivalent to the course
taught here. This determination will be made on the basis of the
textbook, reading list, and assignments from the course you took and
through a discussion between the student and one of the instructors
for Computer Science 555. You will need to provide copies of the
syllabus, reading list and all assignments for the class you took.
You should also prepare a statement based on the current syllabus for
Computer Science 555 showing which systems and topics from CSci555
were covered in the course you took, and which ones were not.
You will be asked questions about many of the systems covered in
CSci555 and if the instructor determines that the courses are
sufficiently similar and that you understand the important concepts
taught in the course, a memo will be written granting course
equivalence. After you have prepared the material described above,
you may contact one of the instructors for 555 for an appointment to
meet during the office hours for the class.
Please be aware that there is no guarantee that your course will be
found equivalent simply because they share the same name. Please also
be aware that a determination that the course are equivalent is not
the same as having taken the class. In particular, as of September
1999 the Computer Science Systems track Ph.D. requires that a student
take four courses out of seven designated systems classes, but only
one of these may be as an equivalent course from another university.
Similarly, students can count no more than two equivalent courses
taken elsewhere toward the Computer Science Ph.D. core (2,2,1)
requirement, and in no case can the student take less than one course
at USC in each of the three areas. Similar constraints may apply for