CS40 - Operating Systems

Fall 2021 online


David Morgan








Course Particulars




CS3 Introduction to Computers & one programming course
Foundation concepts: ASCII code system, interrupts/interrupt lines, disk organization, non-decimal number systems (binary, hexadecimal), CPU instruction sets, data structures (lists, queues, stacks), compiler/assembler link/load process and code layout in resultant program image. Be familiar if not comfortable.




Required Textbook

Operating Systems, Internals and Design Principles, by William Stallings; Pearson; 2015; Eighth Edition

ISBN-10: 0133805913 ISBN-13: 978-0133805918


(there is a ninth edition; we will retain the eighth this semester)







Catalog Description

This course provides a functional understanding of operating systems. Topics include memory and process management under multiprogramming, devices and file systems, and user interfaces. Foundation concepts reviewed at the outset include hardware architecture, CPU instruction sets and machine language, number systems, and data structures. UNIX is used to demonstrate concepts, commands, and programming languages.


Grades for the course are determined as a weighted average over a series of homework assignments and tests, plus a minor attendance component. As assignments are completed, grades to-date will be published on the class website (above), giving the weighting for each. In past semesters there have usually been 2 tests (including final) and about 10 assignments. While there might be variation this is reliably representative. The tests have accounted for somewhat under and the assignments collectively somewhat over 50% of the final course grade. The assignments can be previewed on the course outline page of the class website.

Averages are mathematically quite sensitive to missing terms. There can be a full-grade swing, everything else equal, between a zero- and a hundred-point score on a single assignment. Avoid zero-point scores by doing every assingment and gaining points for it (skipping results in zero). While a score of 50 may be considered poor, it is very good in terms of numerically sustaining an average relative to just skipping the assignment.

Grading Scale:

A 90 -100%
B 80 - 89
C 70 -79
D 60 - 69
F Below 60%

For on-ground or scheduled online classes: attendance may also be noted and included with a low weighting. While the attendance term in the formula for calculating final grades has low weighting, absence affects grades beyond that because it limits your class awareness and subject-matter knowledge, which expresses itself in your work.

Course content - please find the information content of the course in substantial, concrete detail in the Course Outline document; it serves as the centerpiece of the class.

Website - http://classpage.dmorgan.us/ I will make extensive use of this website to communicate with you. You are responsible for awareness of the information posted there, e.g., announcements, grade reports, assignments. Access the website from any SMC computer lab, or an internet-connected browser anywhere.


Academic dishonesty - The SMC Honor statement, signed by each student upon enrollment, reads: "In the pursuit of the high ideals and rigorous standards of academic life, I commit myself to respect and uphold the Santa Monica College Honor Code, Code of Academic Conduct, and Student Conduct Code. I will conduct myself honorably as a responsible member of the SMC community in all endeavors I pursue."

Please be extremely careful that you do not engage in any behavior that could even be construed as cheating. Violations could result in failing grades, reports to the Campus Disciplinarian, and subsequent academic disciplinary action. Examples of behaviors that are not permitted include but are not limited to: copying another student's homework, inappropriate language or physicality in the classroom, and inappropriate behaviors during an exam (talking with another student, looking at or copying from another student's paper, using a disallowed PDA or calculator, using disallowed notes, leaving the room without prior permission, removing exam materials from the classroom). Honest and ethical students are protected in this class.esults in automatic zero on the affected work and automatic issue of an Academic Dishonesty Report Form. The Form enters your record along with regular grades to indicate your dishonesty. I am exerting an honest effort to contribute to your education for your benefit. If you intend to repay it with deception drop the class.


Title IX

Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Students who have experienced some form of sexual misconduct or discrimination are encouraged to talk to someone about their experience, so they can get the support they need. 
To learn more about support available for students, please see https://www.smc.edu/student-support/sexual-violence-response-prevention/learn-about-title-ix/index.php. You can also call Lisa Winter, Compliance Administrator Title IX Coordinator, at 310-434-4225.


A grade of "Incomplete" may only be granted at the very end of the term, when 90% of the course work has been satisfactorily completed by the student, but an unforeseen event or illness prevents the student from completing the coursework. "Incomplete" grade situations are extremely rare, and are entirely at the discretion of the instructor.


Emergency Preparedness

The safety of students at SMC is a priority. Please note that emergency procedures are posted in every classroom. For more information please see:: https://www.smc.edu/administration/emergency-preparedness/index.php.

Please take the time to familiarize yourself with these procedures today, when knowledge of what to do can be the most effective.


Makeup work - Assignments: not accepted after due date. Makeup tests: will not be given. Test grades will not be dropped. If the final exam is missed you will not pass the course.


Drop policy - Students are responsible for maintaining their own enrollment status. Several date deadlines apply:


Dates and deadlines

Class Census Day: SEP 13, 2021
Class 60% Day: NOV 4, 2021
Last Day to Withdraw to Receive a Refund: SEP 12, 2021
Last Day to Withdraw to Avoid a "W": SEP 12, 2021
Last Day to Withdraw to Guarantee a "W": NOV 20, 2021
Last Day to Request for Pass/No Pass Grade: NOV 20, 2021

Leaving yourself officially enrolled without submitting the required work results in an F. I may drop students for inactivity.


To reach me outside class:



Office hours - we will conduct office hours using Zoom, non-mandatory. 


Student learning outcomes -understand foundation concepts and the central responsibilities of operating systems and how modern ones fulfill them.

Students with disabilities - I am happy to make academic adjustments for students with documented disabilities. Please contact the Center for Students with Disabilities if this applies to you. The Center for Students with Disabilities is located in Room 101 of the Admission/Student Services Complex, next to Admissions. For more information, call (310) 434-4265 or (310) 434-4273.

Certificates this course helps you earn -
  Certificate of Achievement in computer science - CS40 is a required component course
  Certificate of Achievement in computer programming - CS40 is an optional component course

Semester dates and calendar -


Student codes of conduct -




College's Frequently Asked Questions page.