CS262a: Advanced Topics in Computer Systems


The goal of the course is to cover a broad array of research topics in computer systems, and to engage you in systems research.  The class is based on a discussion of important research papers and a research project.

The main work of this class is to read frequently and deeply, while working toward a group research project of publishable quality.  Each student will be individually responsible for writing up a short summary of every paper. There will be one midterm exam (albeit near the end), and no final exam. Research projects are a critical aspect of the course.  Your goal is to do some quality systems research; that is, to add to our understanding of how to build systems.  Research projects must be written up in a term paper, and will be presented in a poster in a departmental mini-conference.  Suggested project ideas will be provided by the instructors, but you are strongly encouraged to come up with your own project ideas.  Potential projects include implementation or analysis of some piece of an OS, a DBMS, or an Internet service; extending one of these systems with new functionality; or measurement and analysis of existing systems with the goal of better understanding issues in system design. 


Advanced undergraduates allowed with permission of instructor. Operating Systems (cs162) and Database Systems (cs186) are required.