CS5620:001 Fall 2015 Syllabus

Syllabus for CS:5620:001 Fall 2015

Course Title: Distributed Systems and Algorithms

Course Meeting Times: TTh 11:00-12:15 in MH 118 starting 25 August, last day 10 December. (MH = MacBride Hall, the Museum Building)

Course Instructor: Ted Herman

Office Hours: MWF 10:30-11:30 in MLH 201M or "by appointment"


There is no required textbook for this course. Some lectures will draw from standard textbooks on distributed algorithms, for instance texts by Attiya & Welch, Lynch, Tel, and Peleg. It should not be necessary to obtain these books. For motivation about distributed system topics there are also textbooks about distributed systems, for example Tanenbaum & Van Steen or Kshemkalyani & Singhal, however distributed systems are rapidly evolving beyond the material in textbooks (though fundamental principles still apply).

Instead of textbooks, notes will be available as PDF files (see ICON for these files); for some topics, students can find tutorials and technical papers online, in conference proceedings, or journals.

Course Plan

Student Expectations

Required and Helpful Background: a prerequisite for this course is to have taken some course on algorithms, so as to understand complexity terminology like "O(n/lg n) execution time"; also a course on operating systems should have been taken, so that concepts of mutual exclusion, deadlock, and threads are familiar. Implicitly required is basic knowledge of logic and proofs, such as encountered in typical introductory courses covering discrete mathematics.

Homeworks: homeworks will relate to assigned readings and lecture topics. Most homeworks will be written and due on paper in class; a few homeworks can be computing assignments, using tools to specify and test properties of algorithms.

Quizzes and Exams: quizzes and exams are meant to be a check on student understanding and how well the student is keeping up with the lectures and assigned reading material. There will be approximately eight quiz or exam events in class during the semester.

Grading: grades will be assigned, including +/- grades, based on homework scores, quiz/exam scores, and student participation in class. Homework scores will count 60%, quiz/exam scores 35%, and in-class participation (asking questions, perhaps occasional presentations) contribute 5% of the total.

General Policies and Expectations

See the Syllabus Insert for standard college-wide policies. In particular, for this course, students are expected to be the original authors of work they submit or present. Hence, collaboration, obtaining solutions from outside resources, other students, experts, tutors, found programs on the internet, and other similar shortcuts are not allowed except by permission of the instructor.

University deadlines: visit the registrar site, click on calendars, then academic deadlines; then scroll by month or get a PDF by choosing Fall 2015.

Other Boilerplate Required Information

The DEO for Computer Science is Prof Segre.

The administrative home for this course is CLAS.

Syllabus (last edited 2015-08-20 00:20:55 by Ted Herman)