CS 214 Systems Programming Fall 2014
Office Hours: Wednesdays 8:00-9:00 pm, Hill 403.
Office Hours: Thursdays, 5:00-6:00 pm, Hill 488
Office Hours: Tuesdays 5:00-6:00 pm, Hill 405
Office Hours: Mondays 9:00-10:00 am Hill 402
Office Hours: Wednesdays 10:30-11:30 am, Hill 408
Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:00-3:00 pm, Hill 492
Office Hours: Mondays 4:00-5:00 Hill 248
The aim of CS214 is to introduce the student to the process of writing low-level
programs that interact directly with a computer's operating system and hardware,
as well as to develop the student's ability to build large applications in a
team environment. Upon completion of this course, the successful student should
be able to design, write, test, and analyze moderately complicated programs
using the C programming language and UNIX/Linux operating systems.
- Structured programming in a high-level language (such as Java).
- Standard data structures (lists, trees, graphs, hash tables).
The following text is used in this course:
Computer Systems - A Programmer's Perspective Second Edition
Randal Bryant and David O"Halloran
The following texts are available online, free of charge.
The textbooks do not cover all material discussed in class,
and are not a substitute for attending lectures.
Topics Covered in CS214
The following list is organized by topic,
not by chronological order of coverage in the course.
- Programming in C
- Basic syntax, standard I/O, data manipulation, flow control
- Pointer manipulation, dynamic memory management
- Error handling and debugging
- Programming under UNIX
- Advanced debugging (gdb)
- Performance profiling (gprof)
- File I/O
- Signal handling
- Large-scale development
- Modules, headers, linking, makefiles
- Version control
- Concurrent programming
- Process creation and communication
- Multithreaded programming, synchronization
- (optional) Embedded systems programming
- Developing an embedded application
Sep 02 Into to C, object files, linking and processes
Sep 04 C program structure, C functions
Sep 09 C preprocessor, formatted I/O
Sep 11 Dynamic memory management
Sep 16 Data Structure design
Sep 18 File I/O
Sep 23 multi-file projects, makefiles, directory I/O
Sep 25 gdb -- Bryant and O'Halloran pp 254-256
Sep 30 libraries (system-provided, static, dynamic) -- Bryant and O'Halloran pp 681-683
Oct 02 Signals and event-based programming -- Bryant and O'Halloran pp 736-758
Oct 07 Signals and processes
Oct 09 valgrind and memory-related bugs
Oct 14 caching (should be Linux commands earlier)
Oct 16 Multiprogramming -- Bryant and O'Halloran pp 718-736
Oct 21 Threads -- Bryant and O'Halloran pp 947-989
Oct 23 Thread synchronization (mutex locks, semaphores)
Oct 28 Thread synchronization (condition variables), thread patterns
Oct 30 Thread patterns (producer-consumer, etc)
Nov 04 Signals and threads
Nov 06 midterm
Nov 11 UNIX/Linux commands, BASH shell
Nov 13 shared memory
Nov 18 shared memory
Nov 20 malloc() internals -- Bryant and O'Halloran pp 814-836
Nov 25 malloc() internals
Nov 27 Thanksgiving. Eat. Study.
Dec 02 Bash shell scripting
Dec 04 more shell scripting
Dec 09 Final exam
This schedule may change as needed.
Here's the signal0.c file.
Here's the signal1.c file that prints blocked signals.
Here's the signal2.c file that responds to changes in window size.
Here's the timer1.c file that implements a timer.
Here's the thread1.c file that implements a (really) simple multithreaded application.
Here's the thread3.c file that implements some mutex protection in a multithreaded application.
Here are some dining philosophers programs diners1.c and diners2.c.
Here are some producer/consumer programs prod_consum.c and prod_consum2.c and even one with semaphores and better dynamic memory management prod_consum3.c.
Here are the notes for POSIX multithreading primitives.
And the notes for POSIX mutual exclusion locks.
And the notes for POSIX condition variables.
And some notes for POSIX using mutexes and condition variables in shared memory.
And a toy program that sets up shared memory.
Students are expected to attend all lectures and perform all reading assignments prior to lecture. Students are also expected to attend all recitation section meetings. Students will be evaluated according to their performance on a semester long programming project, a mid-term examination, and a final examination.
The final exam will be given in the last lecture, Tuesday December 09, instead of the officially scheduled exam time. Please plan accordingly.
WARNING: This is a project course, which means that this course should give you more than a passing knowledge of what writing working programs entails. The project will be a major undertaking. If you complete the projects, you will have learned a lot. However, assess your commitment to this course realistically. If you don't have the time or the inclination to work hard on the project, you would be better off not taking the course. You will have to learn how to build and debug reasonably sized C programs and make them robust to outside errors. You will also have to describe how your program work in a written document.
This one large project will be assigned, as three sub-projects. Up to 2 students can work as a group for each sub-project and you can change group members for each project . Students are required to complete the parts by the scheduled deadlines. Failure to turn in the project by the deadline using the electronic handin website will result in a zero for all team members. No exceptions!
There are many different operating systems and variants of C out there and we cannot test your program on all of them. So all program assignments must run on the local iLab Linux machines. We will be grading your assignments on those machines as well.
Working Together and Academic Honesty
Cheating on projects and exams will not be tolerated. We want to protect the fairness and integrity of the class, so we run code similarity detectors on the projects and scrutinize exams for copying. Both parties in the exchange are liable; e.g. if you give away solutions to friends, you're putting yourself at risk too. If you get caught, it's a nasty process--- just don't go there! You're better off asking for help, or at worst, dropping the course and trying it again.
The department academic integrity policy can be found at http://www.cs.rutgers.edu/policies/academicintegrity/. You now need to click explicitly on a link when first login to our computing facilities, use handin, etc., that says you acknowledge being aware of the policy (which you can read through the login screen). If you fail to do the click-through by the end of September, your access to our facilities will cease October 1.
Midterm: 20 %
Final: 30 %
The programming part of the projects are typically graded on how close they are to the functional requirements. The written portion is graded on how well the TAs can figure out how your project is constructed only from the written description. Exams are typically graded on a curve. As a rule of thumb, the mean is a "C'" and each standard deviation is one letter grade. This rule can be altered, however, if the class does exceptionally well or poorly.
I felt we should do our best to clarify up front how we grade your programming assignments. The TAs do the grading, but have all agreed to the same criteria for grading each programming assignment. Each programming assignment is worth 100 points. here are our grading criteria:
- Percent based on number of test cases
40% Code Quality
- 20% Algorithmic
- 10% Reusability/Modularity
- 10% Decomposition
- 10% Test Cases from Students
- 5% Comments
- 5% Documentation (Analysis, readme files, etc...)
The Gilligan's Island Rule
We do encourage you to talk to your classmates, provided you follow the Gilligan's Island Rule. After a joint discussion of an assignment or problem, each student should discard all written material and then go do something mind-numbing for half an hour. For example, go watch an episode of Gilligan's Island (or jersey Shore in modern terms), and then recreate the solutions. The idea of this policy is to ensure that you fully understand the solutions or ideas that the group came up with.
If you follow the Gilligan's island rule, often best route to follow to get a question answered is to ask, in order:
1. A classmate smarter than you.
2. Your TA.
3. The professor.