Course of Studies

Lectures, Exercises, Labs and Seminars on Operating Systems

Students make first contact with the subject of operating systems during the compulsory lecture Operating Systems (3 semester periods per week lecture, 2 semester periods per week exercise) in the 3rd semester, a systematic introduction to the basics of operating system design and parallel and distributed programming. Considerable emphasis is on the subject of distributed operating systems. The Unix operating system serves as an example to substantiate the illustrated principles.

In the 4th semester students can attend the Proseminar on operating systems. In this seminar, participating students give talks about topics suggested by researchers of the group or about topics chosen by the students themselves according to their special interest.

The Concurrent Lab (2 or 3 semester periods per week) gives an introduction to programming with the Unix operating system.

Starting with the 5th semester, interested students can attend the Real-Time Working Group, where regular talks about current research topics are given by staff and advanced students or by guest speakers. An introduction to the central research area of the group (security and real-time in microkernel-based systems) is best achieved by (actively or initially passively) participating in this working group. Within the scope of this activity we also conduct research and advanced seminars.

In the lecture Distributed Operating Systems we delve into important complexes. The topics are currently scalability of distributed systems, fault-tolerance mechanisms, operating systems for parallel architectures and security in distributed systems. The lecture Real-Time Systems strives to comprehensively address this wide and yet relatively unstructured research area, not just from the operating systems angle.

Further continuative lectures are strongly based on the commitment of staff researchers in the group. These are either organized by, or are significantly based on contributions from researchers in the group. Therefore, availability of these lectures heavily depends on other commitments (industrial projects, PhD work, etc.), that these members of staff are burdened with, and is not always guaranteed.

The goal of the lecture Quantitative Methods of Operating System Design is to reveal possibilities of a theoretical foundation for the area of operating systems by using mathematical models that should be part of the tools of every practical computer scientist. We demonstrate that approach by developing scheduling algorithms and by analyzing the performance of operating-system components.

The lecture Microkernel Construction addresses the current development of 2nd-generation microkernels in a very practical manner. We start with a short introduction to the area of microkernel-based systems and then illustrate mechanisms of modern microkernels by means of example code and accompanied by practical exercises.

In the lecture Construction of Microkernel-Based Systems we cover various aspects of the design and implementation of microkernel-based operating systems. We discuss fundamental mechanisms that are prerequisite for constructing efficient systems and illustrate the flexibility of the microkernel approach by exploring a number of example systems.

Tightly coupled with this lecture we offer a very challenging Complex Lab (4 semester periods per week).

In our Paper Reading Group we discuss current and interesting publications and conference papers.

Finally, we offer a lecture that diverges from the conventional form. Under the title International Lectures we watch and discuss 6 to 8 english videos about general topics of computer science. The ambition of this lecture is not just to acquire knowledge but also to improve the ability to quickly grasp the essence of a talk. In general we conduct this lecture in every semester, but only if at least 6 students express their interest in it (otherwise this form of study is not useful).

Furthermore, we conduct a lecture about operating systems for the department Wirtschaftswissenschaften.

Study theses and diploma theses in the operating systems group are typically based on research activities. For more information refer to Hints for Writing a Diploma Thesis and Layout of Diploma Theses.

Udo Steinberg,
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