ISDA 20D-10
Computer Operating Systems (1-unit)
Summer 2021 Syllabus

Adam Romanik
Office: Online
Phone: 443-252-1276
Office Hours: Virtual office hours by Arrangement

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning June 1st, 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the class will open on the first day that the class meets.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

This 1-unit course runs from July 12th - August 6th. It will open on Canvas on July 12th.

Course Description

Overview of the design and implementation of computer operating systems (OS) with emphasis on the three major subsystems: process management (processes, threads, CPU scheduling, synchronization, and deadlock), memory management (segmentation, paging, swapping), and file systems, and distributed systems.


All assignments can be found in the Assignments link in the Canvas online classroom.    The assignments are broken down into the following:

Discussions (supports CLOs 1,2,3,4,5; 10 points)

There will be a total of two weekly discussion topics that you will need to respond to. To obtain full credits, the student should need to write an original post on the assigned topic before the submission deadline. The post should be 2-3 paragraphs (50-100 words) and should use the terms, concepts, and theories covered in the weekly material (or assigned readings). The answers must be substantial and convey an understanding of the topic assigned.

Quizzes (supports CLOS 1,2,3,4,5; 30 points)

Each student will do three quizzes throughout the semester, which is worth 30% of the course grade. The quiz consists of several short-answer questions, and some may need elaboration. These quizzes test the students on the concepts discussed in lectures.

Homework Assignments (supports CLOS 1,2,3,4,5; 40 points)

Each student will do two practice assignments throughout the semester, which is worth 40% of the course grade. The assignments will help students review and apply the concepts of operating systems they have learned in class.

Final Exam (supports CLOs 1,2,3,4,5; 20 points)

The goal of the final exam is to assess whether the student has successfully met the learning outcomes of this class. The exam with require students to solve questions or problems related to content covered in the course. The exam questions will be assigned on the final week of classes and the students will have until the scheduled final exam date and time to submit the responses electronically.

Course Schedule



Textbook Readings


Week 1

July 12-18

Understand the history and evolution of operating systems.

Tanenbaum, Chapter 1

Homework Assignment 1 Due July 18

Week 2

July 19-25

Differentiate between the different categories of operating systems.

  1. Analyze the components of operating systems and their utilities.


Tanenbaum, Chapters 2-3




Complete Quiz 1 – July 21


Homework Assignment 2 – July 23

Complete Quiz 2 – July 25

Week 3

July 26-Aug 1

Explain the three important subsystems for most operating systems.

Tanenbaum, Chapters 4-6

Complete Quiz 3 – Aug 1

Week 4

Aug 2-6

Understand and explain the tradeoffs while designing an operating system.

Tanenbaum, Chapters, 7-9, 12

Complete Final Exam – Aug 6

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

ISDA 20D has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the history and evolution of operating systems.
  2. Differentiate between the different categories of operating systems.
  3. Analyze the components of operating systems and their utilities.
  4. Explain the three important subsystems for most operating systems.
  5. Understand and explain the tradeoffs while designing a operating system.

    SLOs & PLOs

  1. ISDA 20D has no SLOs or PLOs.


Required Textbooks:

  • Tanenbaum, A., & Bos, H. (2015). Modern operating systems. Pearson. Available through Amazon: 013359162Xarrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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