Hot Topics in Modern Operating Systems


The operating system (OS) lecture in your Bachelor studies covers the essential principles and mechanisms that form the foundation of today’s operating systems. Most of these concepts have been known for decades, such as virtual memory or the separation between user and kernel mode. In the seminar Hot Topics in Modern Operating Systems we complement this foundation and discuss recent developments in OS research.

In the summer term 2013, we focus on the various ways in which you can design the basic process of executing a program on computer systems. You already know the abstractions threads and processes as well as mechanisms such as inter-process communication and scheduling. However, there is a multitude of other abstractions and mechanisms, differing from threads other extending them. Most of them originate from the immense increase in parallelism, of both hardware and software.

In the seminar, we explore that design space: We discuss how to express parallel user applications (such as MPI or Map-Reduce jobs), we cover some underlying theoretical abstractions (such as coroutines), and we learn how an OS helps to map these abstractions onto the hardware.

For the seminar, you will prepare a report (8 pages) and a short talk (15 min) about a topic individually assigned to you. Your grade will be based on the quality of your report, the proficiency of your talk, and the liveliness of your participation in discussing the other talks.


We will meet for the first time on Thursday, April 24, 2014, at 1pm in room 148, bldg. 50.34. There, we will discuss how (weekly or en bloc) and when to meet again for the seminar talks. Further, you will be assigned your seminar topic.