Schedule (click lecture names for slides)

8/27 Introduction and C Basics (Oualline ch 1, 2, 4, 6, 8)
8/29 C - Functions (Oualline ch 3, 9)
9/5 C - Strings and Files (Oualline ch 5, 14)
9/10 C - Structs, Unions, Enums, Typedefs (Oualline ch 12)
9/12 C - Pointers and Arrays (Oualline ch 5, 13, Misurda ch 1)
9/17 C - Scope, Lifetime, and the Stack (Oualline ch 9, Misurda ch 2, 6)
9/19 C - Memory management (Oualline ch 15-23)
9/24 Programs - Memory allocation (Misurda ch 7)
9/26 Programs - Memory deallocation (Misurda ch 7)
10/1 C - Multi-file development and make (Oualline 7, 10, 18)
10/3 Programs - Debugging (Misurda appendix B)
10/10 Exam 1
10/16 Programs - Calling conventions (Misurda ch 6)
10/17 Programs - Preprocessing, Compilation, and Linking (Misurda ch 3, Oualline ch 10)
10/22 Programs - Dynamic Linking and Loading (Misurda ch 3-4)
10/24 Programs - Loading and running (Misurda ch 5)
10/29 OS - System calls (Misurda ch 8, ALP ch 3, 8)
10/31 OS - Processes and Signals (Misurda ch 3, 8)
11/5 Kernel - Device drivers Part 1 (LDD3 ch 1-2)
11/7 Kernel - Device drivers Part 2
11/12 Threads - Multiprocessing Part 1 (Misurda ch 9)
11/14 Threads - Multiprocessing Part 2
11/19 Threads - Race conditions and Synchronization (Misurda ch 10)
11/26 Threads - Synchronization and Deadlocks
11/28 Threads - Interprocess Communication
12/3 Exam review
12/5 Exam 2
12/9 proj5 due by 11:59pm

Course Info

Instructor and office Hours

Teaching Assistants


Mon/Wed 4:30 - 5:45, 403 IS Building

Attendance is not required, but it’s probably a good idea to come.


Recitation attendance is not required, but you are welcome to work on the labs and ask questions.


Practical C Programming (Oualline). It’s alright, but not necessary.

The following texts will be provided to you, digitally, at no charge:


Labs: 10%
Projects: 50%
Exam (higher): 24%
Exam (lower): 16%

Project and exam grades are weighted according to your grade, to lessen the impact of a really bad grade.

The project grades are weighted 11% for the four highest grades, and 6% for the lowest.

Labs are graded on completion.

The grading scale is as follows:

97%+ A+
93-96% A
90-92% A-
87-89% B+
83-86% B
80-82% B-
77-79% C+
75-76% C (notice - 75% minimum!)
70-74% C-
67-69% D+
63-66% D
60-62% D-
<60% F

You need at least a C for this course to count towards your degree, so you need to aim for a 75% or higher.

Late Policy

Projects and labs are due for full credit at 11:59PM on the due date. I’m not super strict about it - 15-20 minutes late is no big deal.

They can be turned in late by 11:59PM on the next day. There is a 15% penalty for late submission, taken off after all other grade calculations (e.g. extra credit).

If you have a major problem that means you can’t turn in a project on time, contact me and explain what’s up; I’m pretty accommodating.

Otherwise, you have several weeks to do the projects, and you are welcome to ask questions about things we haven’t covered in class yet. “I didn’t start the project until the day it was due” is not a valid reason to request an extension.


There is a discussion board on the Courseweb page. Please use this for discussion of projects, labs, exam studying etc.

There is also an online chatroom through Discord. Again, email me if you haven’t signed up for it or didn’t get a link. This is more “off-topic” but this is also how I can hold “virtual office hours.”

Please don’t direct message me as your first option when you have questions. I would love to be able to help everyone individually, but there are so many of you, and I have a lot of work to do. Try to ask questions on the Courseweb discussion board first (or maybe it’s already been answered there!).

Religious Observances

If a religious observance will prevent you from attending recitation/exams/being around to submit projects, please contact me as early as possible in the term about them so we can make accommodations.

Academic Integrity

For the projects, you may work with one other person. Both of you must turn in your own, separate projects (no sharing code/circuits), and both of you must notify me in advance of who your partner is, and list your partner when submitting the project.

How far can “working together” go? You can talk about the project. You can talk about how you approached something. But you can’t tell your partner exactly how you did something. You can’t look at each other’s code/circuits. No sending/screenshotting that stuff either.

If you’re not sure whether or not something is allowed, it probably isn’t. Or ask me.

You may not use online resources, such as StackOverflow or projects from previous offerings of this course, to complete your work. If we believe that you have cheated on your assignment, all involved parties will receive a 0 for the assignment. If this is the second offense, you will fail the course.


If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and the Office of Disability Resources and Services (216 William Pitt Union; 412-648-7890; TTY:412-383-7355) as early as possible in the term. DRS will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course.


You are expected to behave respectfully to your fellow students, the instructor, and the teaching assistants.

Jokes or comments about sex, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, etc. will not be tolerated. This is not Reddit or 4Chan. Behave as if you were a professional: keep the discussion about the subject at hand and try not to bring personal issues into it.

These rules apply not only to lecture, but also recitations, office hours, online chats, emails, etc.