Prof. Douglas Thain
Email: dthain at cse dot nd dot edu
Office: 382 Fitzpatrick
Office Hours: 1:45-2:45 Tuesdays, 2-3PM Wednesdays
TA: Yingxin Jiang
Email: yjiang3 at nd dot edu
Office: 214 Cushing
Office Hours: 4-5PM Mondays, 11-12AM Tuesdays
Course Web Page:: http://www.cse.nd.edu/~dthain/courses/cse60771/fall2008
This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of distributed systems.
The theoretical of distributed systems will be studied via the course textbook, Distributed Systems: Principles and Paradigms by Andrew Tannenbaum. Students will be evaluated on this material through written assignments and exams. The practical aspects of distributed systems will be studied through a series of in-depth lectures and practical assignments on working distributed systems, in particular the Condor distributed processing system, the Chirp distributed file system, and the Hadoop distributed data processing system. Students will install, operate, modify, and evaluate each of these systems to gain practical experience in the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Students will have access to several large computing systems for the assignments and final project, including a small 4-CPU cluster dedicated to the class, a 600-CPU Condor pool available throughout the semester, and a 1000-CPU cluster courtesy of the Google Academic Cluster program, which will be made available during the month of November.
Paper assignments should be brought to class. Programming assignments will be turned in electronically by copying all required files to a "dropbox" directory. You are free to turn in assignments multiple times before the deadline expires. It would be a good habit to turn in an incomplete but working assignment on a daily basis. Thus, there is no excuse for failing to turn in an assignment: everyone should turn in something long before the deadline. Exceptions will be made only in grave circumstances.
For each assignment, a numeric grade will be assigned. Throughout the semester, students will be advised of their numeric grades and the class average. At the end of the semester, number grades will be converted to letter grades.
If a student believes that an error has been made in grading an item, it must be brought to the attention of the TA within seven days after the item has been returned. Factual and clerical errors will be cheerfully corrected. Matters of judgement are left to the TA's discretion. The student may appeal any decision to the instructor, but it is very unlikely for the instructor to over-rule the TA's decisions.
Grades will be weighted as follows:
|Five Assignments||50 %|
|Final Project||20 %|
|Midterm Exam||15 %|
|Final Exam||15 %|
Practical assignments 1-5 are to be completed alone.
The final project may be performed singly or in pairs. You are encouraged to seek out and exploit external manuals, books, websites, and other documentation that will help you to complete the assignment, provided that you indicate what sources you have used. However, all software development, experimental work, and writing of results must be done solely by you and your partner.
You must read and abide by the Academic Code of Honor.