Computer Science (COMP) 314
Operating Systems (Revision 6)
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Area of Study: Science
Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology
COMP 314 has a Challenge for Credit option.
**Note: Students who are concerned about not meeting the prerequisites for this course are encouraged to contact the course coordinator before registering
COMP 314 introduces the fundamental concepts, principles, and structures of operating systems. An operating system is the software on a computer that orchestrates the hardware components of the computer. The operating system provides the user/programmer with efficient and convenient service and a high degree of machine independence in writing programs, executing programs, and managing system resources.
It is assumed that students taking this course are familiar with the basic structure and the main hardware components of a computer. COMP 314 covers the following topics:
- an overview of computer-system structures and operating-system structures;
- process management: defining a process, CPU scheduling, process synchronization, deadlocks, and inter-process communication;
- storage management: memory management, virtual memory, file-system management, disk management, and I/O systems;
- protection and security issues: access matrix and its implementations, authentication, viruses and other intruders, and encryption; and
- an overview of distributed and special-purpose operating systems: distributed operating systems, real-time systems, embedded systems, and multimedia systems.
After completing this course, students will be able to
- describe the overall structure and components of operating systems.
- explain the key concepts and mechanisms of process management, memory management, storage management, security, and protection of operating systems.
- apply the principles and methods learned to practical tasks such as the analysis, diagnosis, and development of functions and components associated with modern operating systems.
COMP 314 consists of five units:
- Unit 1: Overview of Computer Organization and Operating Systems
- Unit 2: Process Management
- Unit 3: Storage Management
- Unit 4: Protection and Security
- Unit 5: Distributed, Real-Time, and Multimedia Systems
To receive credit for COMP 314, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent), including a grade of at least 50 percent on the invigilated final examination, an average grade of 50 percent on the (three) assignments and at least 50 percent on the course project. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:
|Assignment 1 (Unit 1)||10%|
|Assignment 2 (Unit 2)||10%|
|Assignment 3 (Unit 3)||10%|
|Assignment 4 (Units 1-5)||15%|
The Final Examination is closed-book and is invigilated.
The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.
To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.
Silberschatz, A., Galvin, P. B., & Gagne, G. (2012). Operating system concepts (9th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
A print version of the eText can sometimes be purchased from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.
The remainder of the learning materials for COMP 314 are distributed electronically through the course website. Additional course materials such as journal and conference papers, online learning objects and materials will be provided through links and AU Library access.
Special Course Features
The delivery of COMP 314 requires that students use computer mediated communications. Students will be required to complete assignments and activities on the School of Computing Information Systems Web server and will be required to use online resources.
The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.
Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.
Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form
Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.
Opened in Revision 6, September 9, 2016.
View previous syllabus