|6.033 - Computer System Engineering||Handout 1 - February 3, 1998|
Information about 6.033 is available on-line on the Web at the URL http://mit.edu/6.033/. On machines with AFS (i.e., all Athena machines), a much faster way to access the 6.033 Web site is through the URL file:/afs/athena.mit.edu/course/6/6.033/www/index.html.
6.033 will attempt to avoid paper and publish all handouts electronically. Handouts will be available on the Web, as well as in the 6.033 locker on Athena. On the Web, each handout will be provided in a form that can be read by any browser, as well as in PostScript. On Athena, type "add 6.033; cd /mit/6.033/handouts".
We expect you to check the 6.033 home page regularly, since all assignments and late-breaking 6.033 news will be disseminated through it.
Lectures Frans Kaashoek NE43-522 3-7149 email@example.com Recitations John Chapin NE43-530 3-3538 firstname.lastname@example.org David Gifford NE43-401 3-6039 email@example.com David Karger NE43-321 8-6167 firstname.lastname@example.org Martin Rinard NE43-620a 8-6922 email@example.com Ron Rivest NE43-324 3-5880 firstname.lastname@example.org Jerry Saltzer NE43-513 3-6016 Saltzer@mit.edu Steve Ward NE43-624 3-6036 email@example.com Teaching assistants Danilo Almeida NE43-521c 3-5983 firstname.lastname@example.org George Candea NE43-520 3-7436 email@example.com Kevin Fu NE43-532 3-6101 firstname.lastname@example.org Patrick Kwon N/A N/A email@example.com David Mazieres NE43-521a 3-5261 firstname.lastname@example.org John Rusnak 26-348 3-2551 email@example.com Costa Sapuntzakis NE43-521c 3-5983 firstname.lastname@example.org Course secretary Neena Lyall NE43-523 3-6019 email@example.com
Lectures will be held on Monday and Wednesday from 2 to 3pm in 34-101.
The registrar's schedule shows additional lectures on Friday from 2 to 3 pm. That isn't exactly what we have planned; we reserved the Friday hours for special events. The most notable special events are three one-hour QUIZZES, scheduled for Friday March 6, Friday April 17, and Wednesday May 13. Other special events are lectures by staff of the M.I.T. Writing Program, on February 6 and March 13. Sometimes we discover that an interesting visitor can be cajoled into giving us a guest lecture, in which case we will schedule it on Friday. And, finally, if winter gets any worse and we encounter a week of snowed-out lectures, we may try to get back on schedule by using the Friday lecture hour. The message here is: reserve that block in your calendar, even though it isn't going to be used every week; make sure the reservation is clearly marked for the three quiz dates.
The handout "6.033 At a Glance, Spring Term, 1998" summarizes all these events and more.
4. Recitation sections
The recitation sections are currently scheduled as follows, but don't be surprised if some last-minute changes are needed. Section numbers are in parentheses.
(#1) TR10 34-303 Gifford/Candea (#9) TR1 34-302 Rinard/Sapuntzakis (#13) TR10 36-155 Chapin/Almeida (#14)* TR1 33-418 Ward/Rusnak (#7) TR11 34-302 Chapin/Candea (#8) TR1 34-303 Saltzer/Mazieres (#2) TR11 34-303 Gifford/Almeida (#11) TR1 36-153 Karger/Kwon (#12) TR11 13-1143 Karger/Fu (#5) TR2 33-418 Ward/Mazieres (#6) TR12 34-303 Rinard/Rusnak (#4) TR2 36-839 Rivest/Sapuntzakis (#3) TR1 36-839 Rivest/Fu (#10) TR2 34-303 Saltzer/Kwon
Go to the section you were assigned by the registrar, or the one that fits with the rest of your schedule. We will figure out where you are, and also whether or not we need to ask you to attend a different section to get things balanced better. However, try to pick a section with an instructor you have not had before. Note that recitations in 6.033 are deliberately smaller than average, because they consist of free-form discussion.
* Section #14 in Room 33-418 is special. It involves a small number of students who will participate at a distance. Room 33-418 has been equipped with audio/visual equipment to facilitate teaching at a distance. If you would like to get involved in this experimental teaching section, please volunteer for this section.
5. Textbooks and readings
There are three things you need to have in order to accomplish the reading assignments in 6.033.
Grades in 6.033 will be based on the results of three quizzes, about a dozen weekly one-page written reports, at least two written case studies, and your participation in recitation. There will not be a final examination.
Each week, you will be asked to address a question pertaining to one of the reading assignments. Your response should be a one-page written essay. Our emphasis in evaluating these essays is on essential issues, not technical details. Your ability to explain clearly the significance of the paper (in the context of the question) is what matters.
The case studies are longer, 8-10 page papers in which you engage in a design exercise or consider a question in more depth than the weekly reading reports allow. Case studies will be handed out about two weeks before they are due. The first case study will be done individually; the second case study may be done in teams.
Since an important part of 6.033 is discussion of current literature, your recitation participation will influence your grade significantly -- so significantly that we hesitate to try to assign weights to the individual components such as quizzes and case studies. Everything is important; your recitation instructor will assign your final grade based on her personal assessment of what you got out of the course, integrating all the methods of evaluation he can think of.
7. The 6.033 Lab: Hacking Real Systems
This year, 6.033 is again offering a 6-unit elective lab (6.906) designed to provide students with hands-on experience with the concepts taught in 6.033. The lab consists of two projects: a web server and a file system. All the programming will be done in C so fluency in C (or C++) is a must. The lab will be run on Athena in the UNIX environment.
If you would like to understand computer systems in detail and acquire practical knowledge in building computer systems, know C, and have time to earn another 6 credits, you should consider enrolling in the lab. If you are taking 6.033 only because of its reading and writing components, you should not enroll. You do not need to take the lab to do well in 6.033.
To sign up for the lab, just mark yourself as interested on the recitation preference handout. We may have to limit enrollment in the lab due to limited teaching resources, so please wait before registering for 6.906. Note that the lab will not satisfy either the Institute or department lab requirements.
More information on the lab, including the lab handouts, can be found on the web at http://web.mit.edu/6.033/www/lab.html. Any questions regarding the lab should be sent to the lab TA, Costa Sapuntzakis (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our policy is simple, based on professional standards: On quizzes you should not collaborate. On all other assignments you are welcome to work with anyone else on ideas and understanding, but your writing should be your own and you should carefully acknowledge all contributions of ideas by others, whether from classmates or from papers you have read.
9. The Writing Requirement, Phase II
Since 6.033 is one of the few Course VI subjects that asks students to hand in assignments containing complete sentences in the English language, the M.I.T. Writing Program takes a special interest. This interest will take two forms this term: